It’s shaping up to be a banner year for cannabis. With attitudes rapidly evolving nationwide and legalization looming in the country’s largest state, this polarizing plant’s acceptance has never been stronger. So what better year than 2016 to celebrate 420?
April 20 is the annual day to participate in all things cannabis consumption. Why April 20? While it definitely started in Marin County in the 1970s among some high schoolers, other fantasies prevail. Some say there are 420 different chemicals in cannabis. Still more claim Grateful Dead or Adolf Hitler connections. This helps clear up some of the myths and legends.
More importantly, 420 is widely celebrated in San Francisco and beyond. Which means there are tons of things to do involving stoners. Clear your day, call in sick, whatever. The weather will be unique to San Francisco, which means it will be a great day for the park or beach or club or concert venue or just standing around getting baked. Onward and upward.
It might be the kind of day for mischief, but if you want to do some good while also giving the middle finger to federal authorities, look no further than the giant meadow in which you will likely be standing.
It’s no secret that Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park is central command for the annual cannabis consuming celebration known as 420, which conveniently falls on April 20. Heck, even the cops know it. So while it’s true this unsanctioned stoner brigade is tolerated by city officials and law enforcement, one thing those entities do not tolerate is being a bad guest. That means not destroying other people’s property, urinating (or worse) on someone’s yard, or leaving a heap of trash behind for … well, who do you actually think is going to clean up all those empty water bottles and pizza boxes? Why it’s the very people who supply your medicine!
O.penVAPE is teaming up with the Apothecarium and Green Door dispensaries for a trash cleanup following the Hippie Hill gathering. This is pretty admirable, and exactly the kind of thing that will endear you to the naysayers (we’re looking at you, tech bros). And in case it’s not enough to just exercise your altruistic side, participation comes with an incentive: The first 150 medical marijuana patients who fill up a trash bag will be handsomely rewarded with an O.penVAPE battery pen and charger AND a voucher for one of the manufacturer’s 420 mg Reserve oil cartridges redeemable at either participating dispensary. That’s dope. The cleanup runs from 5 to 7 p.m.
MORE GOOD DEEDS
The cannabis industry is good at minding its image, keeping things positive. In that spirit, others are planning cleanups and charitable efforts.
The delivery platform Eaze is hooking up with San Francisco-based vape pen company Bloom Farms’ “1 Million Meals” initiative by pledging a $1 per order for the San Francisco Food Bank. And, along with accessories company Billowby, they’re sending out team to parks around SF, Oakland, and other cities to clean up after the parties. That’s mighty nice. Sign up if you want to know more.
Bloom Room, which has been running 420 deals for the past week at its SoMa dispensary, also recognizes the trash problem with 420 — and realizes it's not limited to Hippie Hill. So it’s once again organizing a Dolores Park cleanup starting at 9 a.m. Thursday. Volunteers who can contribute 1.5 hours of their time should just show up at that time. They will leave with a gift bag and a warm feeling inside.
A SAUCY SURPRISE
PAX Labs might be trying to reinvent the vaporizer experience, but they’re taking a break to host pizza parties around the country with, naturally, 420 pies for all to enjoy in New York City, Denver, Austin, and Miami. What, no Bay Area? Not to worry, hungry friends, we’ve still got a chance. PAX will announce a “mystery” fifth pizza party location Wednesday morning. We’re putting our money on somewhere local. Check their social networking feeds for details: Facebook, or @PAXvapor on Instagram and Twitter.
BEFORE THE HILL & AFTER
The closest dispensary to Hippie Hill is Harvest on Geary, a close friend of SF Weekly. The dispensary is handing out free gift bags to the first 100 patients, and you can take a peek at the dispensary's exclusive VIP lounge at 4811 Geary Boulevard.
Cypress Hill & Berner
After the Hippie Hill cleanup, you can still catch some of the show at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium featuring Cypress Hill, Berner, and guests (Juicy J, J Boog, Chronixx, Kool John, Dizzy Wright). Tickets are still available, at $50 a pop. Berner is hosting the concert, and even running shuttles from Hippie Hill to the venue in the Civic Center. Show starts at 5:30 p.m.
GIMME SOME DEALS, MAN
If you like discounts on your meds, this is a good day to go the extra gram, as it were. Every dispensary offers some kind of deal, and the Meadow Guide is as comprehensive a list as you’ll find. Kudos to the accessibility of the info, broken down neighborhood by neighborhood and highlighting various strains and products. It’s making us wish 420 could be every day (sad-faced emoji).
OUT IN THE AVENUES
It happens. You’ve made it all the way to Hippie Hill, you can already smell the “grass,” you’ve been anticipating this day since the same day last year, when suddenly you realize you forgot your fucking meds! Buzz kill city. You could be the person who just sidles up to whomever at Hippie Hill and grabs for the J’s. Or you take a quick stroll up into the Richmond District and grab a $5 pre-roll, or any number of other goodies, at Harvest. It’s at 4811 Geary, which is about a mile and a half from Hippie Hill. If you don’t like long walks, just get a surge-priced Uber. You can sign up here before you arrive.
WAY ACROSS THE BAY
If Hippie Hill is not your thing, or San Francisco, there’s plenty to do in the East Bay. Blum Oakland, Berkeley Patients Group, Magnolia Wellness, and Harborside Health Center are just a few of the dispensaries planning to offer deals and other perks.
Think you can twist one up like a pro? Let Ed Rosenthal be the judge. He'll be critiquing your style at Magnolia in West Oakland, where festivities begin when the doors open at 10 a.m.
Blum, open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., is giving away a gift bag to its first 500 patients of the day. And each 420th customer — that’s 420, 840, 1260, and so on — will receive a free ounce of their choice (Blum boasts a wide range of killer strains). The dispensary is also hosting a DJ from noon to 6 p.m., and giving away tacos on the outside patio for patients who make a purchase.
And if you seek cultural expansion to go with your altered state of mind, look no further than a first-of-its-kind exhibit that opened last week at the Oakland Museum of California called, fittingly, “Altered State: Marijuana in California.” It’s near the Lake Merritt BART station, open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. And get this: It costs $4.20 (normal admission is $15.95). No medical marijuana recommendation needed for access.