Today could be the day marijuana officially loses its coolness. April 20, April 20, once the underground national holiday for Dope smokers, seems to have been sold to The Man.
The origins of 4/20 are just as controversial as the last pack of gummy bears after a long smoke. Some say it used to be a police code for "marijuana smoking in progress" – apparently untrue ̵
No matter what The origins are big business for a fast growing industry – Black Friday's Ascension.
This year's 20.04. It falls on a Saturday and is expected to be the biggest sales day for legal marijuana to date. Last year, a record 111% was achieved. Stoners will gather in the Denver Civic Center Park to celebrate, with clouds of marijuana smoke moving across the crowd, some still in tie dye, preaching cosmic unity.
4/20 does not yet have a Hallmark card, but it's not there yet can not be far away Of the hundreds of advertising campaigns this year, Lyft offers a one-time trip to Colorado and selected cities in the US and Canada. The fast-food chain Carl's Jr. uses a store in Denver to test a burger infused with CBD oil.
However, there is a serious side to it. This year, ice cream maker Ben & Jerry is calling on consumers to urge lawmakers to lift previous marijuana convictions for anyone incarcerated for smoking. Given that these arrests are four times more likely to affect African Americans, the impact on social justice is clear.
According to Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist at Golden Gate University, 4/20 is on its way to becoming a national holiday. This is largely a function of the booming marijuana business. Arcview, a cannabis investment and research firm, estimates that US retail sales of cannabis products increased to $ 10.5 billion last year. This is a tripling compared to 2017.
"It's still a feast of marijuana, but the conversation has been expanded to include brands that are interconnected in the cannabis industry and for marketers to commit to something cool is, "says Yarrow. This conversation is increasingly focused on people wondering what role cannabis could play in their lives.
"The Stoner-Dude mentality is still there, but there is another one that focuses more on the medicinal properties of marijuana and is gaining importance. "Yarrow said.
The marijuana business may not be high enough from the market for products that use CBD, a cannabis compound from the hemp plant that is said to have health benefits.
CBD, which is not Listed as a controlled substance, it is now found in sweets, coffee, and other foods, beverages, and supplements, as well as perfumes, lotions, creams, and soaps.
According to Louis Zerobnick, a veteran of Colorado cannabis, the CBD industry has the potential to become a far bigger business than an industry based on THC, the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis. The marijuana industry has moved far beyond its Hippie Steiner roots and is increasingly dominated by big business and big banking.
"Many of the old hippies will not make it to industry in this new area. Although they are responsible and have done the activism to make this happen, you find that marijuana companies want to attract people who have worked in other government-regulated industries. This is the level of professionalism now required to make it a real business, "Zerobnick said.
Zerobnick believes 4/20 could someday exceed the size of other semi-official holidays, including Valentine's Day and Halloween "It's a national, non-denominational, non-racial holiday, celebrated mainly by holding up," Zerobnick said, dropping events in Florida, Chicago and the Cannabis Cup High Times in California. It's as big as it is at Christmas. "
And in the meantime, big business is pulling in to break the zeal of the original stoners, John Boehner, the long-winded former Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, is the director one of the largest cannabis companies in the US, Acreage Holdings Coca-Cola has a joint venture with a cannabis company leading to Coke High Big tobacco is in the starting blocks.
The 4/20 counterculture pioneers who have campaigned for legalization may wonder if there is a high price for a legal high.
"We do not like it, but everybody likes it," says Zerobnick. At the same time that many old hippies fail, he says, "many could become billionaires when they are bought and their burdens have turned into commercial success."