This year's 4/20, the annual holiday for weed enthusiasts, is definitely one for celebration. Over the past year, cannabis won major battles, with recreational marijuana becoming legal in states like New York and dispensary workers were deemed essential workers during the pandemic. Cannabis is now legal for recreational use in 11 states, and for medical use in 33 states.
The pandemic has led to new levels of cannabis consumption among Americans. In 2020, the U.S. saw a 24% increase in U.S. adults using the plant and so far in 2021, there has already been a 26% increase, according to consumer survey company MRI-Simmons in its National Cannabis Study for 2021, shared with Ad Age. In fact, 26 million Americans reported using some form of cannabis as a result of COVID-19, with 71% starting to use marijuana with THC and 45% starting to use CBD, states the same study. And nine out of 10 of these, or 24 million Americans, say they plan on continuing their use even after the pandemic is over.
The high-flying holiday has naturally been adopted by cannabis brands, but plenty of non-weed brands, too, are looking to connect with the same consumers continue to find ways to make their mark on the day.
This year, efforts like Jimmy John’s French bread-baking livestream and Slim Jim’s Doge-inspired snacks, are playful. Others, however, take on ongoing issues surrounding the plant, like decriminalization and federal legalization. Weedmaps is raising money for those who have been incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes and is livestreaming a criminal justice reform session, while Ben & Jerry’s is asking followers to write to Congress about decriminalizing the plant.