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By Associated Press
LOS ANGELES – Marijuana users have been celebrating their love of the drug on April 20 for decades, but the once-in-a-lifetime counterculture celebration Being stoned is so big that corporate America is concerned.
No, Hallmark has no card yet for "420 But many other companies inside and outside the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry are using April 20 or April 20 to provide marketing and social media messages, which aim to connect with consumers in the booming market.
On Saturday, Lyft offers a $ 4.20 credit for a trip to Colorado and selected cities in the US and Canada. Carl's Jr. uses a restaurant in Denver to market a CBD-infused hamburger, a non-intoxicating molecule found in cannabis that many believe is beneficial to his health.
Totino's, the maker of frozen pizza snacks, tweeted a picture of a microwave and an oven with the message: "To be dull, pizza rolls are better when baked."
"I think brands that connect to cannabis get this contact high. In other words, they are considered cooler by the association, "said Kit Yarrow, consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University. "When pot becomes more legal, more talkative, more interesting to people, wider use, 420 becomes more mainstream."
The normalization of marijuana has been a snowball since 2012, when Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize the use of recreational activities. Eight others followed, including California, Oregon and Michigan. Medical marijuana is legal in two-thirds of the states, with the conservative-oriented Utah and Oklahoma regions being the newest additions.
Meanwhile, the CBD market has exploded. CBD oil is found in sweets, coffee and other foods, beverages and supplements, as well as perfumes, lotions, creams and soaps. Proponents say that CBD helps with pain, anxiety, and inflammation, although limited scientific research supports these claims.
US. Cannabis retail sales of cannabis products rose threefold to $ 10.5 billion last year, according to the Arcview Group, a cannabis investment and market research firm. The figures do not include the retail sale of hemp CBD products.
Ben & Jerry's was one of the first major brands to connect to marijuana culture through marketing. The Vermont based ice cream company is honored with Cherry Garcia and Phish Food, who honor the late Grateful Dead member Jerry Garcia and the band Phish. Both bands are favorites of marijuana smokers.
To celebrate 420 in recent years, Ben & Jerry's debut-taco and burrito sandwiches inspired. This year, the company partnered with a cannabis dealer in the San Francisco Bay Area to give a free pint half baked, a combination of cookie dough and fudge brownie, to customers who place a delivery order on Friday and Saturday.
"We have a lot of fun" I'm never open, but really play until the moment of 420, "said Jay Curley, global head of integrated marketing for the company.
Last year, Ben & Jerry also became more serious and asked consumers to urge lawmakers to previously expose marijuana convictions and press for pardon or amnesty for anyone incarcerated for smoking. This year, the company uses the holiday to demand a reform of the criminal justice system.
"We actually use this as an opportunity not to tell a Stoner joke as we did before, but to highlight what we consider to be a much more serious problem in the area of justice," said Curley.
Those up The market for marijuana also advertises around 420. Much of the marketing of cannabis or related products takes the form of online ads, emails, text messaging, and social media – shops usually offer discounts, and a few hosted food and entertainment parties. The larger 420 events can attract thousands of people.
Verano Holdings, which includes cannabis stores, sponsors street festivals in Chicago and Tulsa, Oklahoma, where attendees can learn about marijuana products, listen to music, and have a bite to eat. The company expects the festival to be held on Saturday in Chicago's third year and more than 4,000 people en will attract. It was 1,500 last year, said Tim Tennant, Verano's Chief Marketing Officer.
At San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, Hippie Hill will again host a 420-year celebration. Last year, more than 15,000 people attended the event, which turned from a small informal gathering to a full festival of sponsors and commercial stalls selling smoker's, t-shirts and groceries.
Roger Volodarsky, whose Los Angeles Puffco has made portable vaporizers and 420 years old when he was a teenager. At that time he said, "420 was the day you abandoned yourself and started up in interesting ways. It was the day you made a gravity bong and coughed your brain out. "
Volodarksy believes that some Main Street brands are coming to the industry and on vacation.
" What's important to me about these advertising campaigns is "I talk to people who are not users, and they normalize the room to people who are not users, "he said.
Even as popularity increases, some companies will refrain from using 420 as a marketing tool Allen Adamson, co-founder of Metaforce, a marketing consultancy.
" If You probably do not talk about a big brand that must appeal to everyone and is very risk averse, "he said." I do not think you'll see big financial institutions. "