If you're hoofing out to Hellman Hollow for San Francisco's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, I have some edible suggestions designed to avoid further burdening your already-bulging backpack. Because you're going to need that space for the chardonnay, chevre, and ciabatta that makes such great accompaniment to a banjo-twangin' good time at Golden Gate Park. Also, since it's usually an all-day (or if you're like me, all-weekend) affair, most of these items have long-lasting effects to keep you medicated all the way to Emmylou.
These gummy bear-inspired candies will fit nicely into any pocket, and for the size, really pack a wallop when it comes to dosage and effects. In fact, don't let these cute, cuddly candies fool you -- it's really easy to pop both in the package just out of sheer habit. But these ain't the Haribo sweeties you get in Japantown. They're more like the bear that swallowed Timothy Treadwell's head in "Grizzly Man." Take one at a time, and they'll serve you a long day. Gummi Cares can be found at many Bay Area dispensaries.
Suspiciously Delicious Sugar-Free Watermelon Rock Candy
As readers of this column may recall, I'm always on the lookout for non-sugary medible options, for my own ruthlessly selfish reasons. And if, for your own reasons, you're avoiding sugar, a good alternative to the above space-saving candies would be Santa Rosa's Suspiciously Delicious rock candy. These come in many flavors, including sugar-free watermelon, and make an excellent sour kick to put some pep in your nalgene-flavored Hetch Hetchy H2O. There are six pieces at half a dose a piece, so depending on your tolerance, you might be able to make these last more than one day. I found these treasures at Oakland Organics on Broadway.
WO Vegas Root Beer Hard Candies
If all that maltitol scares you more than sugar, and you're interested in vegan options, check out these mouthwatering medibles, available from the legendary Vapor Room's delivery service. There are plenty of flavor options for these hard candies, but for some reason Root Beer seems to work within the framework of Hardly Strictly than, say, grape.
KIVA Vanilla Chai
You really can't beat 2011's HS festival for weather. It was uncommonly warm, swelling the crowd to nearly a half million. This year looks to be a more typical weekend, which means that if you're not standing directly in the sun (if it's even out), it might get downright cold. Fight the fog with this cockle-warming beverage. The dosage is fairly high, so if you're sensitive, be sure to dilute properly or keep it to just a sip. If your tolerance is high, like mine, quaff to your heart's desire. You'll have plenty of time to get your head together before braving the MUNI herd. You can find KIVA's vanilla chai mix at Soma's SPARC dispensary.
Blondie Pumpkin Cookie
This one isn't quite as compact as the other options on this list, but what the hell, fall is fast upon us, so I couldn't resist throwing in this taste of the season. Also available at SPARC, this blondie cookie has a pumpkin filling that puts the m-m-m in medible.