Cannabis Community Gets Creative for a Virtual 420

Written by Haleigh Hoff April 22, 2020
The HistoryThe Industry

This year was the ultimate 4/20 (4/20/20) and like most people in the cannabis industry, Blackbird wanted to do something big to celebrate the high holiday. Unfortunately, the world had different plans as everything about our daily lives changed in the global response to the Coronavirus pandemic. We wondered how we would celebrate the weed holiday together, or if we would be able to celebrate it at all. Was this 4/20 going to be the sesh of the century or would it feel like just another day in quarantine? While we were forced to shift our operations as we continue to provide access to cannabis in these unprecedented times, many cannabis companies got creative with their approach to celebrating the unofficial cannabis holiday with dynamic online events and experiences. I took some time to do my rounds on the internet while in highsolation and I can say without a doubt this was a 4/20 to remember. Here is my recap of the events and moments that left me feeling inspired and connected while being at home alone. 

420 Online

Companies, brands, artists, and entertainers of all kinds from around the world turned to the internet to connect the cannabis community for the legendary stoner holiday. The typical celebration of hanging outside in nature with a group of friends passing joints around was replaced this year with video chats and virtual dance parties. It was an eventful day packed with at-home concerts, group video-chat smoke sessions, educational lectures, cannabis deals, fundraisers, and unique digital experiences. 

I started my day with an online interactive adventure by Old Pal via Instagram. The creative team at Old Pal created a choose-your-own adventure game that took you from one instagram profile to another. The journey begins once you choose a tile and follow its directions from profile to profile; each choice taking you to a new profile with new art and new choices. Each journey eventually leads to a final location which has a variety of great deals on Old Pal’s  merchandise. Old Pal featured deals on some high-end cannabis gear, exclusive 420 apparel collection, ceramic accessories, or storewide discounts - it was an innovative and enjoyable way to interact with a brand and kickoff the 420 festivities. 

After picking up a new ceramic stash jar from Old Pal with my 50% off discount, I hopped over to Weedmaps Higher Together “The World’s Biggest Virtual 420 Celebration” live stream and caught Stephen Marley’s session from home. What better way to continue your 4/20 celebration than with some live music from a member of the Marley family?

After an impromptu vibe-sesh, I hopped on to Yew Yew’s live Instagram hang out with Herb for a “Make Pipes Out of Produce” tutorial. I learned how to turn lemons, bell peppers, apples, and broccoli into champion smoking devices. The two folks hosting the tutorial had a fun and relaxed rapport helping to create a feeling of being at home cutting holes into fruit with your friends and not complete strangers. 

After perfecting the DIY produce pieces, and carving through the majority of my fresh produce, I tuned into Miss Grass’s Zoom Call “Sex + Weed in Quarantine” with hosts Anna Duckworth of Miss Grass, cannabis activist Chelsea Leyland, Kiana Reeves of Fiora Wellness, and vibe architect Lizzy Jeff. This panel was one part of the 5-hour long “Get Good At Weed” Summit hosted by Miss Grass on 4/20. The panelists each spoke to their self-love practices during quarantine and how they incorporate cannabis into their routines. The conversation was insightful and focused on some underlying health and sexual related topics; such as how cannabis can help folks who suffer with endometriosis ease their pain and rediscover pleasure. Each panelist brought their own unique perspective and vulnerabilities to the discussion creating an inviting and safe learning environment for the audience. 

Scheduling across events synched up beautifully as I switched from the Sex and Weed discussion back to Weedmaps Higher Together event for a studio concert by Erykah Badu. Badu spent a few minutes lyrically plugging her very own 420 collection of smoking accessories called “Badoobie Stoner Humidor 4000” and pussy incense sticks the video switched frames to an intimate scene inside a recording studio where Badu opened with her hit “On & On” backed a full band and elevated the standard of a quarantine at-home concert to a whole new level. She performed for about 30 minutes, carrying the east coast right through their 4:20 pinnacle. It was an impressive concert, one that I would have paid good money to see otherwise. 

Next, it was time to see what was happening on a local level so I headed over to Nevada Norml’s “Stay Home Stay High” event hosted by Culture and Cannabis live on Facebook. This event was centered around Nevada’s cannabis industry and offered a variety of interviews with industry leaders as well as highlighted some folks from the Silver State’s leading brands, dispensaries, and manufacturers. The event was also raising money for Nevada NORML’s lobbying events in 2021 where they will take issues from the cannabis industry directly to the Nevada legislature.

There were so many options of what to do when the clock hit 4:20pm that multi-tasking became necessary. The temptation of breaking a world record for the amount of people consuming cannabis on a video chat enticed me, especially when I found out that they were raising money for the Last Prisoner Project. Competing with that there was also the Wiz Khalifa lituation over on Weedmaps Higher Together stream with a live 420 concert (rumors were spilling that he might drop a 420 album). The options for virtual smoke sessions were in the double digits and as tempting as it was to see what everyone else was doing, I opted for something a little more intimate and spent 4:20 in a Zoom sesh with my friends and coworkers. 

Higher together

The coronavirus may have made it difficult for us to gather in person, but the cannabis community did not let the crisis stop our ability to have an incredible day. April 20 has always been a day to celebrate togetherness for those who celebrate, and this year we cyber-gathered to prove that message is still true. Creativity and community are two things that make this industry stand out from others and this series of events highlighted both of those things well. Maybe highsolation isn’t so bad afterall.