April 20 is the day when marijuana advocates celebrate weed in all its glory! But it isn’t just cannabis lovers that are getting high, so to speak, on the day either.
In the United States, corporate America is on the bandwagon. Cannabis day, as it’s often called, has become a modern tradition that grows in strength with each passing year.
Proof: Cannabis suppliers in the United States and Canada struggled to keep up with the demand before 4/20 Day came. Delivery websites – Eaze is the largest legal delivery app today – also crashed due to the unprecedented demand while online cannabis dispensaries experienced ordering challenges.
Indeed, marijuana has gone mainstream!
With it, we are seeing an increasing number of large chains and companies offering 4/20 treats and, in some cases, advocating for the legalization of marijuana.
Ben & Jerry’s, the beloved ice cream franchise with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of flavors, offered free ice cream to marijuana users. The chain is even encouraging cannabis use for a cause, even when it’s still illegal in 17 states.
But Ben & Jerry’s isn’t giving away free ice cream in every location – baby steps, if you will. The ice cream giant partnered with Caliva, a cannabis dispensary in San Jose, California, to offer a free pint of Half Baked ice cream to people who placed their weed orders on Friday and Saturday. The promo is only offered in California, among the first states to legalize medical marijuana in the 1990s.
According to Ben & Jerry’s, the promo was made in the name of criminal justice. In its own words (4/19 tweet), “This 4/20, we’re getting real about cannabis justice. Learn more about who’s making $$$, who’s being penalized, and why it matters.”
The ice cream chain also called out the justice system for its apparent racial discrimination. On its website, it says that in states where marijuana is legal and where black and white people use it at a similar rate, black people are “still arrested way more often than whites”.
Ben & Jerry’s is also going beyond 4/20 in its marijuana advocacy. On its website, people can sign a petition asking Congress to erase prior pot convictions – and it now has more than 19,000 signatures.
As for Caliva, it has stated that it will donate 4.20% of the 4/20 sales to Code for America’s Clear My Record Program, a non-profit service for individuals seeking to expunge their possession-related convictions.
Carl’s Jr. didn’t just give away freebies for pot users! The fast-food chain offered Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight, a special burger served with CBD-infused sauce.
The cheeseburger is of a generous size – two thick beef patties with pickled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, and criss-cut fries. The addition of the chain’s signature Santa Fe sauce with hemp-based CBD oil brings it to another level that pot users will likely love.
The cheeseburger, however, was only available at a single store – Carl’s Jr. at 4050 Colorado Boulevard in Denver, Colorado – from 6 a.m. MT until the store closed on April 20. The supplies didn’t seem to last long, too, considering that Carl’s Jr. is a popular hangout place and Colorado has legalized marijuana possession with conditions.
Under Amendment 64, adults at least 21 years old in Colorado can legally possess 28 grams or 1 ounce of marijuana or THC.
According to a Carl’s Jr. official, the chain is “thrilled to be the first quick-service restaurant that offers CBD-infused options”. The CBB-infused sauce may seem like a tiny step, it’s still a significant one considering that it’s offered in a mainstream restaurant, not in underground cannabis places.
Marijuana advocates also have another reason to rejoice. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will conduct its first public hearing on CBD legalization in food and drinks. The hearing, which will be conducted on May 31, will determine the ways of regulating CBD.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. Advocates say that it relaxes the body and soothes stress, anxiety and even pain without the mind-altering effect of THC. On December 2018, President Trump signed the farm law that, among others, contained a provision for the legalization of hemp.
Hemp is a cannabis species from which CBD is extracted, and it isn’t psychoactive. The plant itself is used in a wide range of products from sweaters to carpets; it’s also the main material used in the so-called drug rugs Baja hoodies.
Going back to the FDA hearing, the agency will be gathering information on the safety of CBD as used in food products. It will also gather feedback for the implementing rules and regulations including marketing and labeling of CBD products.
4/20 as the unofficial cannabis day can be traced to five San Rafael High School students who, in 1971, would meet at 4:20 p.m. to smoke weed. The students – Steve Capper, Larry Schwartz, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, and Mark Gravich – used “420” as their code for marijuana.