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Tuesday, June 2, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Why 4/20 gets bigger, better every year

File photo of cannabis product at The Green Nugget in May 2019. (Theresa Tanner / EVERCANNABIS)
File photo of cannabis product at The Green Nugget in May 2019. (Theresa Tanner / EVERCANNABIS)
By Taryn Mickelson EVERCANNABIS Correspondent

Editor’s note: Due to the rapidly changing state protocols regarding the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, 4/2- events may be cancelled, altered or postponed. Please contact retailers directly for up-to-date information.

On the calendar, there really isn’t anything too terribly special about the 20th day of April.

Except when you’re in the cannabis community, and then 4/20 has become a time for celebration and sales. Sure, it’s always easy to find any occasion to party when pot is involved, but what was once the unofficial/official stoner holiday has become almost a sacred day of obligation.

This is especially true for Washington retailers who are planning all sorts of deals. As far as strong single-day sales go, 4/20 is up there with “Green Wednesday” (the day before Thanksgiving) and “7/10” (a July celebration of oil and concentrates).

“4/20 is a wonderful day where all cannabis consumers come together and appreciate everything this wonderful plant has done for us in our own unique way,” said Leah Pape, manager at Tree House Club, a Spokane Valley retailer. “It has been an awesome experience to be a part of.”

Pape said she heard a little about the holiday years ago, but learned about it fast once people started lining up to shop each April.

“It has become quite the holiday in the cannabis industry – I did not realize just how much until my first 4/20 working here back in 2016,” she said.

A quick intro for non-industry folk still wondering what’s so special about these numbers. The “420’ term was coined in 1971, when a group of high school students in California used created a secret code to meet up after school.

They started telling their friends, and so on, and so on, and eventually it caught on with the larger California stoner culture including bands and media. High Times, a now-mainstream cannabis magazine, also started using it and throwing a spring party.

This year, 4/20/20 falls on a Monday, so look for celebrations and specials not just on the day but all month long, including events, parties, discounts.

Some growers have been ramping up production all winter for higher demand, and some Spokane shops have been working on their 4/20 strategies.

The Green Nugget plans to start its party the weekend of April 18 with doorbuster sales for all interests and price ranges.

“We really strive to have strong price points for this sale in hopes of the community getting the chance to try something new, relax and have a good time with family and friends on this special holiday,” said Martina Graves, marketing manager.

It’s also time for some companies to show off new products and get them in the hands of the expected shoppers looking for deals.

Altus Concentrates will be releasing its new c-cell vape cartridges, made with raw distillate and cannabis-derived terpenes. Sticky Budz is also hyping its new evohaler, a unique device that delivers a measured dosage in a puff.

Graves said the approaching 4/20 is a good chance to encourage people to join the shop’s loyalty program. Members receive one point for every dollar spent plus coupons and rewards for more points.

She said the shop will be sending text reminders starting 4/17 advising loyalty members about sales starting April 18. Loyalty members can also order online and have their goods ready for pickup on 4/20 sale day.

Many retailers and growers are excited to try and beat their last year’s sales.

Other industries are getting involved too. Last year, ride share service Lyft offered a $4.20 credit in Denver and certain cities for those who wanted to partake safely and responsibly.

The concept of 4/20 has definitely become more commercialized and mainstream from its secretive counter-culture roots. But that’s OK with many in the industry today.

“It is so nice that all the stigmas are gone, it is no longer frowned upon for being a stoner so this is a time to grab up those deals, relax with appreciation and have fun with those special to you,” Graves said.

Loren Parker, a budtender at 365 Herb in Loon Lake, said one of the good things about 4/20 is that you can celebrate it any way you want.

“In my opinion, is a time to either smoke or sit in a moment of appreciation and celebrate a plant that was put on this Earth for people to enjoy,” he said. “It’s a medicine meant to help us live our daily lives in a peace of mind.”

Taryn Mickelson is originally from New Mexico and now works in Washington’s cannabis industry. She enjoys writing about the positive changes in this rapidly-growing business.

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