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Categories: Chem Tales

Cannabis Countdown Hits San Francisco

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Love it or hate it, everyone is expected to have a plan for New Year’s Eve. Whether you intend to watch the world arbitrarily turn from one year to the next or you fall asleep before 11 p.m., it’s a capital-letter Important Day on any social calendar. Now Eddie Miller, one of the founders behind greenRush.com, wants to give April 20 the same red-carpet treatment.

For anyone who may need a refresher, 4/20 is the Christmas of cannabis, and perhaps nowhere is that celebration more visible than in the Bay Area. In fact, 4/20 originated right here, when a group of Marin County high schoolers in the 1970s chose to meet outside their classrooms and toke up at 4:20 p.m. Celebrations spanning the globe have come to mark the day, including the infamous annual festivities at Golden Gate Park’s Hippie Hill.

Miller now adds another option to the mix with the company’s first-ever 4/20 Bud Drop, a celebration at The EndUp in SoMa that features a countdown clock and a “ball drop” in the form of balloons filled with cannabis samples.

Having previously started companies like NewYearsEve.com and PubCrawl.com, Miller is well-versed in what it takes to organize a holiday-specific party. While overseeing BallDrop.com, he helped produced upward of 60 New Year’s Eve events in Times Square alone that took place in venues ranging from Madame Tussaud’s wax museum to an AMC movie theater to the Copacabana Club.

“When we got into cannabis,” Miller explains, “we were thinking about how we could equate the energy and spirit of the countdown to New Year’s Eve and bring that to the cannabis space.”

He credits a real-estate-developer friend from San Francisco with first pushing him to enter the cannabis sector four years ago.

“He told me that cannabis was better than anything else that we were doing,” Miller says, “and that if we just take our knowledge and experience and bring it to the cannabis space, that we could be really successful.”

The result was greenRush, a company that allows consumers to find cannabis products relative to their location. He’s pushing things further with the Bud Drop, a ticketed event Miller says will be wholly celebratory in nature.

The Bud Drop “is totally sans activism,” he says. “Cannabis is going to be legal across the world in a very short time period — within the next 10 years. Now that it’s on its way to being legal in so many different formats, for us as a company, we are agnostic as to how that ultimately transpires.”

“Our goal is just to let people know that you can buy cannabis legally,” he adds, “and that it is a safe, effective, and fun alternative to alcohol — or, you know, tennis.”

Miller also says the decision to hold the initial Bud Drop in San Francisco, a city he considers to be the cannabis equivalent of Manhattan on New Year’s Eve, was a no-brainer: “It’s the place where the Bud Drop had to be born.”

Of course, greenRush is also looking ahead to 2018, a landmark year in which cannabis will be available for recreational purchase in both California and Nevada. Miller says he and co-founder Paul Warshaw have already secured locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas for next year’s festivities. There are even plans for taking the cannabis celebration beyond April 20 and into more traditional holidays as well.

“I hope that as cannabis goes into the mainstream, other holiday events like New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day and Halloween can all be celebrated along with the usage of cannabis,” Miller says. “My sincere hope is that I can connect the cannabis world with my previous career, which is very congruent. We want to sell a good time. We want people to enjoy themselves. Cannabis as a product should be no different than the alcohol served on pub crawls or the Champagne served on New Year’s Eve.”

For tickets and more information on the 4/20 Bud Drop, visit greenrush.com.

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Zack Ruskin

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