Food  |  Things to Do

The National Cannabis Festival Returns This Spring With Top DC Chefs and New Munchies

Maydan and Moon Rabbit are among the restaurants joining musical acts like Wiz Khalifa at the April festival.

The National Cannabis Festival is back in April with new options for eating, drinking, and entertainment. Photograph by Doug Van Sant

Where there’s smoke, there are fire food options. 

The National Cannabis Festival returns for its sixth year at the RFK Festival Grounds (2400 E. Capitol St., SE) on Saturday, April 23. And while the celebration doesn’t permit the consumption or sale of marijuana, there’s plenty of cannabis culture, education, and weed-inspired fun—all on top of musical performances from Wiz Khalifa, Lettuce, Backyard Band, Ghostface Killah, and more. 

This year, a new culinary pavilion will join the fan-favorite “Munchies Zone,” where festival-goers will find a diverse array of food trucks and vendors like Peruvian Brothers, DC Taco, and Reba’s Funnel Cakes. Headlining the new pavilion are chef Nikki Steward, creator of the High-End Affair, a “touring cannabis culinary entertainment brand” that counts Snoop Dogg and Dave Chappelle as fans; Maydan head chef Darnell Thomas; Disco Mary, a holistic bar concept from Maria Bastasch that’ll be matched with Mexican eats from chef Christian Irabien; and Equinox, which is dishing up truffle mac’ n’ cheese. Chef Kevin Tien (Moon Rabbit, Hot Lola’s) and Maketto’s Erik Bruner-Yang will run a Stop AAPI Hate Night Market with Tien’s Szechuan fried-chicken sandwiches and more. 

In addition to food and drink stalls, festival programming includes competitive eating contests centered around DC Slices pizza, Hotdog Hideout franks, and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. For intellectual consumption, look for discussion panels like “the Future of Beverage and Cannabis” with DC Brau’s Jeff Hancock and others; “The Future of Cannabis in DC Hospitality,” with chefs from Maydan and Moon Rabbit; and “Home Cooking with Cannabis,”  led by Mark Nagib of Pink Fox, which gifts edibles and marijuana with apparel purchases.

While Saturday is the big party, the Cannabis Festival will stretch to three days at different locations around DC. On Friday, April 22, the National Cannabis Policy Summit at the Ronald Reagan Building will focus on current and upcoming cannabis policy issues. On Sunday, April 24, the National Cannabis Championship goes down at Echostage, presented and judged by the Gentleman Toker.  Home growers will present their finest products alongside musical performances by Slick Rick and Footwerk.   

Tickets to the festival start at $65 for general admission, and vary by day, access, and activities. You can explore the options here.


Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.