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420 virtual celebration

How Technology Helped Save 4/20 This Year

Every year, cannabis enthusiasts and advocates celebrate the cannabis plant and legalization movement on April 20th.

The tradition was born several decades ago when a group of individuals frequently met in secret to consume cannabis at 4:20 PM, and the number ‘420’ later became a numerical representation of the cannabis movement. 

That led to April 20th being declared an ‘official’ cannabis holiday by cannabis enthusiasts all over the globe.

April 20th celebrations were relatively low tech in years past, but that all changed this year.

In-Person 4/20 Events Cancelled

The April 20, 2020 celebration was supposed to be one for the ages. After all, April 2020 is ‘4/20’ for an entire month, and major events were planned all over the planet.

Unfortunately, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, all international in-person events were canceled.

For other communities, a hurdle like the coronavirus pandemic would have likely crushed all hope. However, the cannabis community is not like other communities.

In true cannabis community fashion, rather than giving up, people adapted to the situation.

Online Events Pop Up

With in-person events canceled, organizers took their events online and held virtual gatherings all over the globe.

The events took on many forms, from musical performances streamed live on social media platforms, to websites dedicated to housing live-streamed panels and interviews.

A number of the virtual 4/20 events raised money for various charities, including charities dedicated to providing assistance to coronavirus first responders.

It was truly inspiring to see the cannabis community step up in such a major way, and on such short notice. Setting up so many online events was presumably not easy, yet the cannabis community rose to the occasion.

A More Inclusive 4/20 Celebration

In years past, in-person events were the standard, however, it’s quite possible that virtual 4/20 events could become more common in the future, even when the pandemic is over.

Many people like celebrating in the comfort of their own homes, especially when celebrations involve global cannabis celebrities that may not be coming to in-person events in their areas.

Furthermore, while historically there were many in-person events around the globe, there are many areas that have not had celebrations for various reasons, not the least of which is prohibition.

Virtual 4/20 events provide an opportunity for everyone to participate, no matter where they live, as long as they have an internet connection. Technology may very well revolutionize the way the movement celebrates 4/20 going forward.


  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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