WATSONVILLE — Colin Disheroon would like to “change the story around cannabis” in any way he can.

As the CEO and founder of Santa Cruz Naturals, a dispensary with locations in Aptos and Pajaro, he’s tried to push away the thick, cloudy stigma that comes with using cannabis — for medicinal purposes or recreational.

“I want people to feel like they don’t have to hide it,” Disheroon said. “I don’t want people to feel like they’re doing something wrong when they’re enjoying the product.”

That journey to change the perception of cannabis pushed Disheroon and Co. into one of their most ambitious projects.

The Power of Flower festival will unite music and cannabis for one night at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds tomorrow. 

Organizers say the event will support small, local and legal craft cannabis brands, as well as allow cannabis to have a legal, fun and safe presence in a music festival setting.

Ozomatli, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, George Porter & Runnin’ Pardners, Space Heater and Diego’s Umbrella will all rock the stage, while cannabis companies such as Santa Cruz Roots, Skunk Feather, Santa Cruz Mountain Tops and Legion of Bloom will hold exhibitions throughout the night.

Mattia Pizza, Santa Cruz Poke, Saucey’z, Rouge Pye and Tacos El Chuy will be selling food, and an “artist grove,” featuring everything from chocolate and yoga, to clothing and photography, will also be present at the fairgrounds. 

Watsonville Taiko will kick off the festival.

“We have such a great mix of different performers and bands,” Disheroon said. “We saw an opportunity to really promote some great local music in a cool, fun setting where cannabis is the showcase.”

Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. 

All of the proceeds from the festival will go to local charities.

“That was one of our goals: to give back to the community,” Disheroon said.

Disheroon said he believes Power of Flower is the first music festival in the state to have an “open smoke” policy, which allows attendees to enjoy cannabis in all forms — drinks, dry herb, edibles, etc. — throughout the fairgrounds.

However, there will be only one cannabis vending site.

Power of Flower will be the first cannabis-related event in the fairgrounds this year, and only the second-ever in the venue’s recent history.

For information and to pre-order tickets visit https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1867498-power-flower-festival-watsonville/.

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