How To Entertain A Cannabis Cowboy


How To Entertain A Cannabis Cowboy

By Michael Kinney 

It’s no secret that cannabis and music go hand in hand. It has been that way since before groups like the Grateful Dead and Snoop Dogg became synonymous with the magical plant.  

“It absolutely does, and it has for years, right? You sit back, you smoke a joint, listen to Led Zeppelin or you listen to Pink Floyd or something and it always makes the music better,” said Daniel, founder of the Cowboy Cup. “Grateful Dead to me is not the best band in the world, but smoke some pot and it’s fantastic. And that just goes hand in hand with what we got.” 

photo by Daniel Lewis

The Cowboy Cup is no different. Since its inception, music has always been a vital part of the festivities. The trend will continue in 2021 at the Third Annual Cowboy Cup. More than a dozen musical groups expected to perform during the two day festival  and celebration that showcases the cannabis community.

“It plays a big part. We want to be not only the state’s premier cannabis championship but also a big cannabis-inspired art environment as well,” Lewis said. “And so we’ve always got glassblowers and local artists that come out, people that make shirts and trinkets and all these different things, which also goes along with the cannabis culture.” 

Lewis decided to flip the script a little this year and change up the format. He said he wanted to bring the down-home Oklahoma-feel back to the festival.  “First year was a mixture, last year was too,” Lewis said. “This year I’m going to end both nights with just hard rocking Red Dirt country music.”

Lewis said he got the inspiration from a night out on the town with some friends.  “I had some friends come in from California about a month ago. None of them like country music. Well, we all went out to the Tumbleweed and they had somebody playing that was just rocking ass Red Dirt, and they all had an absolute blast,” Lewis said. “And I got to talking to Wade about it. It’s like, ‘Man, people don’t come out here from California to listen to freaking something that they could hear in California. I’d rather them come down and hear something local.’ Obviously Red Dirt country music is what we got.” 

While Lewis has brought in more country music, he has still put together an eclectic lineup that should have something for everyone. “So this year we’ve got four artists lined up. The two opening bands are real jazzy, kind of reggae-ish type bands,” Lewis said. “Stoney Banks will open up Friday night and then it looks like Jack Waters and the Unemployed will close Friday night. And then Saturday we’ve got Henna Roso opening up. They’re this eclectic, funk, jazz, kind of ensemble thing.” 

The final show on the main stage Saturday is expected to be like Giovannie & the Hired Guns. 

That is only a portion of the acts that will be performing. Herbage magazine has put together its own tent they are calling The Herbage Experience.


Starting at Noon on Dec. 3, the Herbage tent will put forth 12 acts in two days. They include Giakob Beasley, Jordan Cox, Felina Rivera and CJ and Steig. 

“We want to add an Herbage feel to the Cowboy Cup that would leave an impression.” James Bridges, owner and publisher of Herbage Magazine is excited to offer a lounge type area with an acoustic style vibe for ambiance. “There will be a little something extra for the Herbage experience attendees. You do like to be granted wishes correct?” Bridges asked. 


For Henna Rosa this will be their second time at the Cowboy Cup. They performed the first year and it was an experience founder Taylor Graham really enjoyed.  

“I enjoyed it,” Graham said about the 2019 event. “I had a great time. I am obviously a cannabis enthusiast. I work in the industry and it’s something I have been passionate about for a long time.  It was cool. I had never been somewhere where someone brought out a 6-foot bong on stage before. I was able to hit it without looking over my shoulders.” 

Graham, who is also a sales rep for Heartland Farms, says the Cowboy Cup has a special atmosphere that isn’t seen at many other festivals. “It was a very open, inviting event and pretty indicative of the Oklahoma cannabis community,” Graham said. “Very inviting to all lifestyles, art forms and interests. The Cowboy Cup just does a good job of bringing everyone together.” 

That has always been one of the objectives for Lewis. This is why music has played such an important factor in the Cowboy Cup’s growth and increased popularity. 

It has grown so much that organizers have expanded the main tent and the North tent to accommodate the crowd they are expecting.  “As of right now, we’re completely sold out with four weeks to go. Last year, we sold out in the last week,” Lewis said. “Last year we had I think somewhere around 160 entries into the competition. This year we’re over 450 and we still have sun grown flower left to go. So if that tells you anything, that’s how much it’s grown from year two to year three. So entries alone, we’ve had over 160 companies enter the competition, all of which get tickets and all of which will be there.” 

With that many companies, brands, vendors, sponsors and spectators in one spot at one time, that makes the Cowboy Cup the perfect venue for artists to put on a show.  “I just hope people can come together and understand how much of a beautiful opportunity it is for people to consume cannabis so openly,” said Graham. “And how the business in the state is thriving. I hope people can build off connections and relationships that have already been formed and create new ones. Allow people to build bridges between processors, dispensaries. I hope people are able to do that in a way that is not only fruitful to their business but for them as people as human beings.” 

Even though the Cowboy Cup has nearly doubled in size, Lewis said the fact the event has stayed true to its foundation is the reason for the success.  “It all goes back to our foundation. The festival’s built on top of the Cannabis Championship, and so as a business model, the foundation is the championship,” Lewis said. “And if we had a night, a great ethical competition where everybody that had as good a chance as a sponsor to win, and where it doesn’t get bought and paid for like a lot of these competitions have been and everybody is sick of them. Everybody feels like all the other ones are a money grab. They feel like the Cowboy Cup is something that everyone has a fair shot in. A lot of people are throwing a festival and throwing a cannabis cup in the middle of it. I’m throwing a cannabis cup with a festival surrounding it. 

“If you want to be involved in the Cannabis industry in Oklahoma, this is where everybody is going to be.”


Artwork by Tim Jessel