4/20 is Black Friday for cannabis dispensaries. With California and Nevada dispensaries now in action, 2018’s annual celebration is looking like a record breaker.
Shrouded in the mists of time, the origins of 4/20 have been cause for speculation for decades. A quick internet search, however, will give you the 4-11 on a group of teens from Marin County, Calif., credited with coining the term. Decades since the Waldos, as they affectionately referred to themselves, started toking outside their high school, 420 has become the biggest pot celebration on the planet.
A Cause For Celebration
Ever since 420 became a staple of stoner jargon, the date has been circled on calendars as a celebration of all things green and ganja-related.
Even before Colorado legalized marijuana, The University of Colorado in Boulder was notorious for huge smoke-ins and weed celebrations each April. Now, Colorado is still ground zero for some of the largest 420 celebrations in the U.S. From Denver’s Mile High Festival to the Colorado 420 Fest in Colorado Springs, the state is home to hundreds of events.
Not to be outdone, California and Arizona are fully embracing their legal weed status in 2018 with major events, including 4/20 Green Gala: Super Troopers Edition in Scottsdale, Arizona, and the SoCal Cannabis Cup — featuring Lil Wayne and Nas — in San Bernardino.
A National Impact
420 is expected to leave much more than a cultural impact this year. Dispensaries across the country are preparing for record-breaking sales figures. With 4/20 falling on a Friday in 2018, experts are expecting sales to outperform the massive $45 million mark set by the 2017 celebration. That number represented a 20 percent growth over 2016 and an overall increase of 13 percent in consumer traffic, according to MJ Freeway, a leading cannabis industry data company.
Nationwide, 4/20 is becoming a natural entry point for adults interested in learning more about cannabis. Many dispensaries and cannabis companies run significant discounts on their products, making some products and experiences more accessible to a broader audience. In addition to the growing financial impacts 420, opening up new consumer bases may prove pivotal in the growing trend of decriminalization.