This year, 4/20 just isn’t the same. The holiday for marijuana fanatics has received a facelift in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dispensaries in states where they are legal have been deemed essential businesses, and cannabis sales are up—bringing in $17 billion, a 30 percent jump from last year, according to BDS Analytics. But with states mandating stay-at-home orders and social distancing in place, weed brands cannot promote the usual pot pub crawls, parties at dispensaries or Mary Jane-themed experiential events associated with the holiday.
Instead, once real-world events are going virtual, with added musical flair and donations to COVID-19 relief funds or nonprofits that support the decriminalization of weed. Several cannabis brands, like Willie’s Reserve and Weedmaps, are streaming concerts and entertainment to raise money, while brands like Ben & Jerry’s and Caliva also take cause-driven approaches this year.
Famous stoner Willie Nelson is hosting a musical 4/20 variety show called “Come and Toke It” beginning at 4:20 pm ET (what other time) and lasting for an appropriate four hours and 20 minutes. The livestream is brought to viewers by Nelson’s own premium cannabis brand Willie’s Reserve and his annual music “anti-festival” Luck Reunion, originally set for March 19, but canceled due to the coronavirus.
Nelson will bring famous faces like Kacey Musgraves, Matthew McConaughey, Jeff Bridges, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ziggy Marley and more to the livestream on Twitch and Facebook in support of the last Prisoner Project, which advocates for the decriminalization of marijuana.
And, because everyone wishes they could smoke with Willie, Willie’s Reserve is encouraging viewers to take part in a virtual weed circle that will air during the livestream. Anyone can film themselves toking, taking their material from the right and passing it through the frame to the left to the next person in a horizontal video tagged with #passleft and #comeandtokeit.