You are here
Home > News > Maine Dispensaries Anticipate Sales Onslaught Ahead of Phish Show

Maine Dispensaries Anticipate Sales Onslaught Ahead of Phish Show

Maine dispensaries are getting ready to put the kettle on. Bangor Daily NewsAccording to local reports, Phish jam band is visiting town and dispensary workers in the area are preparing for the chaos that the concert may bring.

Phish will perform at the Maine Savings Amphitheater on the Bangor Waterfront in Bangor, Maine on July 16—marking the band’s fifth performance in the city since 1993 and its 47th show in Maine. It’s the first time Phish is performing in Maine with recreational sales after the state legalized cannabis two years ago.

What’s the point of all this fuss? Because Phish’s fanbase of tie-dyed stoned hippies are so devoted and cult-like, the argument has even been made that Phish is an actual cult. (It’s not.) Unlike typical bands, Phish fans follow the band around the country religiously, and concerts generally draw a lot of outsiders—outsiders who smoke bud. It is quite common to see five-digits of people in the crowd.

Although locals remain cautious about potential cannabis influxes, they acknowledge that dealing with pot smokers is much easier than dealing with drunk people.

“Phish fans definitely bring a great crowd, but they are pretty well-behaved compared to others. It’s not crazy like the country shows. Those fans like to party,” Mark Greenleaf, owner Carolina Sports & Spirits, told Bangor Daily News Greenleaf’s business storefront is only a few hundred feet from the entrance to the amphitheater that Phish will perform at. “We’re happy to have any concert event. They always bring us some business, and many of them pack the place.”

Dispensary owners also expect an increase in sales, but maybe aren’t 100% convinced the concert will create a phenomenon.

“We’re grateful for every concert that comes to town. It’s always a boon for us,” said Sam Cross, manager at Firestorm, a dispensary in town. “It’s hard to say exactly what kind of crowd we’ll see for Phish, but we’ll definitely see them. It’s always nice to see a caravan of Phish fans come in.”

Chronic News reported on the phenomenon that Phish concerts create, providing an atmosphere that you don’t even need weed to enjoy. Last April 20 in New York, Phish also performed at Madison Square Garden, celebrating the state’s first legal 420 holiday.

The event in Maine may not be quite so large, but it draws the same cult-like devotion seen at the band’s other concerts.

Cannabis and psychedelics can be considered synonymous with this band, since they are complementary to the music genre. It is a Vermont-based group that was founded in 1983. The band plays jam-band-style music, which emerged from the 1960s’ psychedelic scene. When Jerry Garcia died in 1995, apparently a lot of Grateful Dead followers—aka deadheads—refocused on Phish. You can expect a lot braided hemp, glass pipe accessories and long hair. Trey Anastasio is the lead singer, along with Page McConnell and Mike Gordon. Jon Fishman also plays in this band.

Phish have played Maine more than 50 times since 1989. Over 75,000 people attended one event in particular, The Great Went, Loring Air Force Base, Aroostook Co. in 1997. It was 1997’s highest-grossing rock concert in the U.S., according to Bangor Daily News.