High Times, Cal Expo Sued Over ADA Inaccessibility at Cannabis Cup

SACRAMENTO -- A lawsuit has been filed in federal court against High Times and Cal Expo based on protections guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Sacramento's first "buy here, smoke here" Cannabis Cup festival eeked by with the proper permits, allowing such usage just three days before gates were set to open.

That hurdle was cleared but Willows resident Rena Wyman says High Times and the hosting location it contracted with, Cal Expo, created many hurdles for her.

She and her husband paid out for VIP tickets that afforded access to upgraded restrooms. The tickets did not mention they would be upstairs.

"They did have some of the nicer bathrooms that are like in trailers but none of those were handicap accessible," she said.

Her suit claims that "more than five hours later, a single portable toilet without running water was provided in the VIP area." The only handwashing station supplied worked with a foot pump her husband had to step on for her.

Wyman, a mother of two, has had the neurological movement disorder dystonia her entire life.

"It affects your balance, involuntary muscle contractions," she described.

Wyman says she has to fight her muscles to do what she wants but they usually do the opposite. Dystonia forced her into a wheelchair three years ago.

She describes herself as an occasional pot user but she didn't smoke or buy at Cannabis Cup. She wanted to enjoy the music.

But with the lack of a secure wheelchair viewing area, she got swarmed by the crowd.

"They were just climbing the sides of the wheelchair. I was really scared," Wyman said.

She's reached out to High Times multiple times.

"I've called the 1-800 number. I've emailed the editor," Wyman told FOX40. "I've emailed the advertising line. I've emailed the story suggestion line."

Wyman says she got the same response FOX40 did about the issues -- nothing.

On Tuesday, Cal Expo did not return FOX40's requests for an on-camera interview or written statement about its contract requirements for accessibility during Cannabis Cup. According to Wyman, the last response she got back from Cal Expo is that staff there had tried to reach out to High Times but had not heard back.

She says she knows that's not true because two days later she saw reports that Cal Expo had signed a new contract with High Times for another Cannabis Cup in October.

Though advertising is out for that event and tickets are being sold, High Times has not yet secured all the needed permits from the City of Sacramento.