Virginia craft beer company looks to raise cannabis awareness

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The O’Connor Brewing Company will host a week of cannabis-related events starting next Monday

Virginia craft brewer O’Connor Brewing Company wants to help spread the positive benefits of cannabis and marijuana. Starting this Saturday, the company will hold a number of forums and events in what is being billed as the first Legalize Virginia Festival.

The festival will run from September 10 through 14 and is being held in conjunction with Virginia NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws). According to O’Connor’s founder and president, Kevin O’Connor, “We feel it is so important to support the use of medical cannabis for those suffering from cancer, PTSD, epilepsy, and other diseases and mental health issues. Anything that can help lessen symptoms and improve the quality of life for those suffering.”

There will be a different each night designed to raise awareness and help push cannabis reform in the state. There will be forums on the use of cannabis in medicine, cannabis and race and more, and the week will be capped off by a “ber release party” on the 14th that will see the brewery offer a new beer, a quadruple dry-hopped pale ale that is brewed with hemp seed.

The events are free to attend and part of the proceeds from sales will go to Virginia NORML. In next year’s General Assembly, the lobbying group will be pushing to decriminalize marijuana usage and working to expand current medical marijuana laws.

Virginia NORML executive director Jenn Michelle Pedini explained, “This year the General Assembly unanimously passed a new law allowing for regulated production and expanded use of medical cannabis in the Commonwealth. We are at the very beginning of both a new industry and a new force of healing in Virginia. It is only fitting that we throw a big party to celebrate this year’s win, and get people who believe in reform ready for more big changes to come next year.”