Your Bay Area Guide to 4/20

The second year of festivities since recreational cannabis went legit has something for stoners of every stripe.

By now, you know the score when it comes to April 20. Celebrated across the world, 4/20 is a holiday that usually involves large groups toking up together when the clock strikes 4:20 p.m. Historically, the event stems from a phrase (“420 Louis”) that a group of marijuana-loving San Rafael High School students coined as a shorthand for when and where to meet after school.

As cannabis culture has gained popularity, the 4/20 festivities expanded to include regular smoke-outs across the U.S. as well as gatherings abroad. With the 2018 advent of a regulated recreational market, things got even more interesting. While the Board of Supervisors-approved temporary-event permits for on-site cannabis sales won’t yet be available for this year’s celebration, there are still plenty of options for aficionados to mark the occasion.

Third Annual 420 Bud Drop at Hippie Hill
Unquestionably, the largest and best-known gathering in the Bay Area, the 420 Bud Drop welcomed nearly 20,000 visitors to Golden Gate Park’s Hippie Hill last year. For 2019, organizer Katrina Belda says things will largely be similar — with one notable exception.

“You can expect more security and medical staff on-site,” Belda says, “so we can do an even better job of ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all attendees.”

Another change for the free festival this year: no pets.

“In addition to the usual rules like no glass, alcohol, or drones, we are not allowing pets this year,” Tamara Barak Aparton of Rec and Park confirms. “Most importantly, there will be no licensed cannabis sales onsite, so please hit a licensed dispensary before you come to the park. Contaminated marijuana sent several people to the hospital last year, and we want everyone to be safe.”
Robin Williams Meadow, Golden Gate Park. Gates open at 10 a.m. Free, 18 and older. 

420 Trippie Hill with Berner and Friends
Not sure you want a strong dose of sun or a stronger dose of Porta-Potties? Kick off the night early with Bay Area rapper Berner as he hosts a 4/20 celebration at The Midway. With a sizable run time — it runs from 3-10 p.m. — there are plenty of opportunities to chill between performances from Vallejo artist Nef the Pharaoh, Latin rap duo Los Rakas, and Kool John.
The Midway, 900 Marin St.,  3-10 p.m. $30, 18 and up, 

Ride the Emerald Farm Tours Cannabus
San Franciscans may feel some trepidation when it comes to voluntarily boarding a sightseeing bus, but Emerald Farm Tours founder Victor Pinho promises that his “endurance tour” of local dispensaries is not your typical tourist trap.

Offering tours of farms, manufacturing facilities, and local dispensaries, Emerald Tours has cooked up something special for April 20.

“It’s a completely different itinerary,” Pinho confirms. “We’ll be going to as many dispensaries as we can get to, and then arrive at Robin Williams Meadow by 3 p.m.”
4/20 Tours, $249. 21 and up,

Sex and Cannabis for Women
If you live south of the city, you may wish to pay a visit to Good Vibrations in Palo Alto. On April 20, they’re hosting a talk focused on sex and cannabis for women, with Sheri Matteo from Ellementa.

While no cannabis will be available on-site, Good Vibrations is offering 10 percent off to those who attend the free event.
Sex & Cannabis for Women: Free with RSVP. 18 and older. Good Vibrations: 534 Ramona St., Palo Alto,

Spring Blossom Soiree at Hotel Kabuki
If something slightly less massive sounds like your type of party, consider joining NEWERA for a 4/20 event inspired by Japantown’s Cherry Blossom Festival.

“We’re the first group here in San Francisco to openly fold our Asian spiritual and cultural heritage into our relationship with cannabis and community,” co-founder Jessica Sharp noted in a release.

Produced with support from the organization Asian Americans for Cannabis Education, the offerings include performances from several musicians and multimedia artists. Cannabis will be delivered by Flower Co. — attendees must pre-order their purchases — and consumption takes place in a “private smoking area in the outdoor zen garden and patio” of the Hotel Kabuki.
Spring Blossom Soiree at the Hotel Kabuki, 1625 Post St. 21 and up, $46-$56,

Phish’s Trey Anastasio at the Greek
No one is more perfectly suited to play on 4/20 than Phish. While the veteran Vermont jam band won’t be blowing any minds this year — don’t worry, they’ll undoubtedly visit the Bay Area again soon — lead vocalist and guitarist Trey Anastasio will lay down some trippy licks at Berkeley’s Greek Theatre. Performing in support of his latest solo album, Ghosts of the Forest, he’s sure to set the perfect post-4:20 p.m. vibe.
Greek Theater, 2001 Gayley Rd., Berkeley, 7 p.m. $55,

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