Here at Stem Haverhill, we love to celebrate everything having to do with the incredible possibilities of the cannabis plant. Speaking of celebrations, ‘4/20’ is this month, and we cannot be more excited. Keep reading as we break down the meaning and lore behind this holiday.



What is ‘420’?

group of people celebrating 420

420 is a term that many people use to refer to cannabis culture. The exact origin of the phrase is unknown, but there are several theories about its origins. One theory suggests that 420 was police code for marijuana possession in California during the 1970s; another claims that it comes from Bob Dylan’s song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”.

The meaning behind 420 has changed over time as it became more popularized and adopted by different groups of people. Today, most people associate 420 with smoking weed or doing anything else related to cannabis culture (including eating edibles). But before this association became widespread, there were other meanings associated with the number:

  • In 1971, five students at San Rafael High School in California met up on April 20th after school because they had all heard rumors about an abandoned plot near campus where they could find some pot plants growing wild; thus began an annual tradition known today as “Weed Day” or simply “420.”
  • Some say that 4/20 refers specifically to 4:20 pm (or 16:20), which is when smokers traditionally meet up at college campuses across North America each year for smoke sessions known as “smoke outs”.


Why is 4/20 Celebrated?

The 420 holiday is a celebration of cannabis culture, empowering users to celebrate their love for the plant. It’s also an opportunity to promote responsible use and encourage others to learn more about the benefits of cannabis.

The origins of this date are somewhat disputed but it’s widely believed that it began at San Rafael High School in California in 1971 when five students met at 4:20pm after school under a statue called Louis Pasteur (the French chemist who discovered how yeast turns sugar into alcohol) where they would smoke pot together every day after school until they graduated.

A few years later, these five friends reunited while attending college at UC Santa Barbara and decided to make 420 part of their tradition again by smoking outside on April 20th every year – hence why we now refer to this day as “The Official Stoner Holiday” or simply “4/20.”

420 events are held all over the world. They vary from small gatherings to large festivals and rallies. Some 420 celebrations include:

  • Cannabis Cups, where people can sample different strains of marijuana and vote for their favorite strain
  • 4/20 parties, where people gather to smoke cannabis together in celebration of the holiday
  • Rallying for legalization or decriminalization of cannabis


man in black shirt holding microphone4/20 Celebrations in the United States

The United States is home to many of the world’s most famous 420 celebrations. From San Francisco to Denver and Seattle, cannabis culture has been thriving for decades.

In California, April 20th is known as “Weed Day” or simply “420.” This is because it’s the date 4:20 pm on which Hippies would gather to smoke their joints in Golden Gate Park during the 1960s and 1970s.

Today, people celebrate this tradition by gathering at 4:20 pm every year at Hippie Hill in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood or at Hippie Hill Park in Berkeley (which was named after its location).


4/20 in Massachusetts

As the cannabis culture continues to flourish in Massachusetts, the 420 celebrations in 2023 promise to be bigger and better than ever before. Since the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2016, the state has seen a surge in enthusiasm for the cannabis community, leading to numerous events and gatherings that commemorate this special day.

In 2023, Massachusetts plans to host a variety of 420 celebrations, showcasing not only the progress made in the cannabis industry but also the camaraderie and advocacy that have driven the movement forward.


Considering Cannabis Social Equity on 4/20

While you’re celebrating, it’s vital to remember that the importance of cannabis social equity in Massachusetts cannot be overstated, as the Commonwealth has made concerted efforts to address the historical injustices and disparities resulting from marijuana prohibition.

As one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis in 2016, Massachusetts has been at the forefront of implementing social equity initiatives within the industry.

Ensuring that communities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs have access to opportunities in the growing cannabis market is not only a matter of justice but also essential for fostering a diverse and inclusive industry that benefits all.


Stem Haverhill Dispensary: Helping You Celebrate in Style & Comfort!

With such a wide variety of events and celebrations planned for 420 in 2023, Massachusetts is undoubtedly set to become a premier destination for cannabis enthusiasts seeking memorable experiences and a strong sense of community.

Excited for the celebrations? Needing a boost? Be sure to stop by our excellent facility and check out all the amazing cannabis options that will have you feeling festive in no time!