Today is April 20, also known as 420, also known as National Weed Day, and also known as National Pot Smoking Day.
If you don’t remember what you did today, we’ll assume you enjoyed the festivities. You had every reason to, given the real possibility that Californians may well be voting come Nov. 8 to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.
With a well-oiled, deep-pocketed, celebrity-studded campaign underway, sponsors of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act are hoping California, the first state to legalize medical marijuana, will join Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, which have all legalized recreational use of pot to varying degrees.
So it was fitting that everyone this year, from Twitterers to musicians to corporate marketeers, pulled out all the stops for 420, a code-term for a special day when pot-heads, occasional tokers, medicinal-marijuana advocates and everyone else involved in the budding $6.7-billion industry can breathe in, breathe out, and then relax.
“Given that April 20 is such a popular day in the marijuana community, we expect we’ll be really busy today,” said Sarah Seiter, curator of Altered State: Marijuana in California at the Oakland Museum of California. “Since we’ll likely be voting on legalizing it, we wanted to create a space for Californians to talk about their biases, their hopes and fears around this issue. And on this day in particular, we’ll be the thinking person’s 420 activity.”
To get into the festivities, the museum is offering a low admission price to the show on 420 of, yup, $4.20
This 420 was practically exploding across the Internet by the time the sun came up. Inboxes have been filled with greetings from folks like travel-site Jetsetter, with a subject line that reads: “How to get that Travel High.” And gadget-review site Product Hunt, which invites its users to “Hang with your buds,” explaining that “Today is considered a national holiday by many.”
Everyone with a pot-related idea, it seemed, has been out pitching on 420. “I could put you in touch with CA attorney Aaron Herzberg, from the cannabis holding company CalCann,” wrote one PR executive. “He’s been doing some really interesting work around grow houses and municipal licensing in Southern California.”
The Twittersphere, small wonder, has been lit up all day like a big fat fatty with greetings from the land of #420. Wired magazine touted its review of apps that “will help make this 420 the best 420 ever — if you remember to download ’em!” Rolling Stone wished everyone a “Happy 420!” and linked to “an instructional video on how to roll a joint properly.” LA Weekly tweeted out the “10 Best LA Restaurants for When You’re Stoned.” And High Times, the Bible of the pot hoi polloi since 1974, boasted “we get more done after 4:20 than most people do all day.”
420 has also been a particularly good day for Steve Berke, founder and CEO of Miami Beach-based Bang Holdings. Today they announced the launch of a “first-of-its-kind social media network” that would “allow advertisers to reach their desired market in areas where marijuana has been legalized for medical or recreational use.”
That news sent shares of his company flying high on the Nasdaq, under the symbol BXNG, closing up a blazing 40 percent this afternoon. As Berke pointed out, “420 is the national stoner’s holiday and it’s also an important day for our company because we announced we’ll be creating the first advertising network to service the cannabis industry.”
Berke says that if outsize California legalizes pot this fall, “an industry now estimated to be worth $6.7 billion would double overnight.”