Blunt Advice: Where to Score Pot in Cannes
Festival veterans share their secrets for the best places to buy marijuana, which is illegal in France, but the cops in Cannes aren't exactly on the lookout for drugs.
A version of this story first appeared in the May 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
At 2014's big beach bash for the 20th anniversary of Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino famously encouraged the Cannes crowd to consume some cannabis: "Now rip out a joint and light it up!"
Marijuana — medicinal or otherwise — is illegal in France, but cops in Cannes aren't exactly on the lookout for drugs. "It's known that they don't go into the parties, and they don't make such a big deal out of it," says one festival veteran.
Where can would-be tokers find some product? Hang out under the awning of the farmers market Marche Gambetta after closing time, or at the dusty and often deserted petanque court on Rue Louis Braille, suggests a programming executive who started out parading the Croisette as a young man promoting indie films from quirky label Troma by day and partying in the cheap apartments past the train station at night. "It's still a bit sketchy," he warns. "Don't go flashing a lot of cash." And leave your fest badge at the hotel.
Another hotspot is the fountain area near McDonald's; lean casually against the fountain, and locals will approach. For about €25 ($28), you can pick up a "barrette," 10 grams (⅓ oz.) of heavy-duty Moroccan hash (more available in the South of France than the green goods, which run nearly double the price).
For a more upscale experience, bartenders and bouncers at big clubs like Le Baoli or the Croisette casinos are your best source for the illicit address of a more private supplier.
"Everyone thinks it’s people from the south or Marseille, but you wouldn’t imagine how many [dealers] come down from Paris. They set up in apartments and go back and forth three or four times during the festival,” says one Parisian in the know. With celebrities and socialites in town, the city is flooded with just about anything on demand.
One place not to look? Concierge services. Patrick Tobelem from Monaco-based Master C, who’s fulfilled bizarre requests from birds to barbed wire (not at the same time), says: "The only thing we will not get is girls and drugs."