O’Connor Brewing Co. Hosts Legalize Virginia Festival

Legalize Virginia Festival

Next week O’Connor Brewing Co. in Norfolk is becoming O’Cannabis Brewing Co.

Virginia NORML is teaming up with OBC to present the very first Legalize Virginia Festival.


Each night the week of September 10 through 14 will be a different event designed to elevate the conversation about cannabis policy reform in Virginia. These include forums on cannabis as medicine, marijuana and race in Virginia, and what a city like Norfolk can do to be more progressive and proactive about the issue.

On Friday, September 14, OBC will release "YES, NORFOLK CAN(yon)": a twist on the classic Norfolk Canyon - a quadruple dry-hopped American pale ale brewed with hemp seed.

The event will also feature live glass blowing, local craft vendors, a live DJ yoga class with Sky’s the Limit Yoga and DJ Kenny Murray, and more. The wildly popular NOMARAMA Munchie Market will be on hand, with numerous local food innovators present, including Chip Chop, a new fry pop up; a new concept by Pendulum called Pearl; S’mores Amore; and Steel Spade Gelato.

The event runs from 3pm to midnight. Entry is free.

A portion of proceeds of Legalize Virginia Festival benefit Virginia NORML, the organization leading the way toward marijuana law changes in the Commonwealth. At the 2019 General Assembly, Virginia NORML will be lobbying for both decriminalization, and expansion of the current medical cannabis laws.



Monday, 9/10

7-8pm  Marijuana Saved My Life: Cannabis as Medicine in Virginia
A forum on the new medical cannabis law, who it will help, and how to talk to your doctor about whether or not medical cannabis might be right for you.

Lisa Bohn, a Purple Heart veteran who uses cannabis to help her cope with PTSD
Melanie Davis, an ER nurse who helps her 9-year-old daughter mitigate the impact of cancer by using medical cannabis
Creed Leffler, who lives with Cerebral Palsy with the help of cannabis

NEW DATE: Tuesday, 9/18

5-7pm Virginia Cannabis Industry Association Happy Hour
The cannabis industry is moving full steam ahead in Virginia! What better place to kick off the VCIA networking series than O’Connor Brewing Co.’s Legalize Virginia Festival? Join us for a happy hour to meet, mix and mingle with leaders in the Commonwealth’s newest emerging market. Learn how to join and the benefits of membership in the Virginia Cannabis Industry Association

7-8pm  Equity and Expungement: Talking Marijuana and Race in Virginia  
Topics addressed will include the disparity in arrest rates among white Virginians and Virginians of color, the expungement of marijuana offense records, and how the brand new regulated cannabis industry in Virginia can best benefit all, including those that have been the victim of the War on Drugs.

Joe Dillard, president of the Norfolk chapter of the NAACP
Bill Farrar, director of public policy and communications for the ACLU of Virginia
Wanda Cooper, owner of The Cooper Law Firm, attorney who specializes in expungements, restoration of rights, and criminal defense

8-9pm  Entering the Marijuana Industry in Virginia
Join the Virginia Cannabis Industry Association and Virginia Cannabis Group for an overview of how the marijuana industry will be developing in the Commonwealth now that dispensaries are on the way.

Virginia Cannabis Group are the foremost experts on the cannabis industry in Virginia. They assist businesses with obtaining licensing, government regulations, and more.

8-9pm  Growing What’s Good: How to Grow Hops…. and Theoretically Also Hemp
Learn about the botany, the best time and place to grow, and more about these amazing plants that have long histories in the Commonwealth.

NEW DATE: Thursday, 9/20

7-8pm  Can Norfolk Legalize Marijuana?
Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, so no, Norfolk cannot legalize marijuana. But there are things that municipalities in Virginia can do to lessen the impact of the war on cannabis from now until prohibition ends.

Norfolk City Councilperson Andria McClellan
Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney Greg Underwood
Virginia NORML executive director Jenn Michelle Pedini

8-9pm  Activist School: Becoming a Kick Ass — and Majorly Effective -- Marijuana Reform Advocate
Learn how to be the change you want to see in the world with Virginia’s leading marijuana policy reform expert, Jenn Michelle Pedini. She will walk you through the best way to use your time, talent, and resources to help move this issue forward in the Commonwealth. Topics discussed will include how to talk to your elected officials, what effective communication looks like, and how to organize to multiply influence and impact.

NEW DATE: Friday, 9/21

3pm- 12am  Legalize Virginia Festival + Yes Norfolk Can(yon) Release Party
Featuring NOMARAMA Munchie Market, independent vendors, the beer release, DJs, dance party, a pop up yoga class with Sky’s The Limit Yoga at 7pm, and a bunch of fun surprises.