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Weed, walking and waffles: National Cannabis Festival founder Caroline Phillips’ D.C. dream day

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In D.C. Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District.

If D.C. had a Queen of Cannabis, the throne might belong to Brookland’s Caroline Phillips, the founder of the National Cannabis Festival. Phillips, a native Washingtonian who runs events company The High Street, started the festival in 2016, after D.C. voters legalized marijuana for recreational use (but not sales). This year’s festival appropriately falls on April 20 and features music from Ludacris and Action Bronson (RFK Festival Grounds; Sat., noon-8 p.m., $55). Because this is D.C., the festival will also host a policy summit Friday at The Newseum. “It’s great to see the D.C. area become a destination for people interested in cannabis recreationally but also cannabis policy,” says Phillips, 38. Recreational marijuana sales would officially be legal on her dream day, and, since the festival itself was once just a pipe dream, her itinerary would lead there.

I would meet up with Brau Runners — that’s my running team. We do a lot of Ragnar relays along with charity races. We always start at a bar and end at a bar, so we’d start at Brookland’s Finest. Our run would take us down Rhode Island Avenue NE. There’s a pretty gnarly hill there, but once you get to the top, you feel really good about yourself. We’d hang right on Florida Avenue NW and stop and idle in front of the MetroPCS store to soak in some D.C. go-go music.

We would head back to Brookland’s Finest, my favorite place for brunch. They always have a special waffle that has some kind of fruit compote and whipped cream. You can’t really go wrong with that.

I’m going to hop back to my house and grab my dogs — two little mutts — and significant other. We would go by one of D.C.’s dispensaries and pick something up for the day that could be used in a vape pen.

I’d like to stop by Union Market. First I would stop at DC Dosa. Usually I just point to things — I don’t have a thing I normally get there. Then I would go to Trickling Springs Creamery for a milkshake.

We’re walking and as we round a turn, I [spot] the whole National Cannabis Festival team. We all end up walking together down H Street NE.

I like Congressional Cemetery for a good dog walk. There’s this bench on top of the hill. Underneath it there’s this little compartment and there’s a notebook inside. Everybody can open it up and leave a message. Whenever I go there, I sit down for a bit and just read through the different stories. I’m pretty sure I left a note in there around 2015 when I started thinking about the festival.

We’re heading over to the festival grounds. Everything is just happening: Wonderful festival fairies are dropping everything into position. To get there, we’re going to pass the D.C. Central Detention Facility. This is a weird part of my dream day, but I do think it’s important for people to understand that there are people in jail for trying to pay their bills with weed, while there are now states that are paying their bills with weed money. I would take a moment to really think about the people who have been jailed for drug offenses.

At the festival, the first stop is the advocacy village. We’d probably fan out from there and, finally, all gather together in front of the stage for Ludacris.