Reefer madness is in full effect.
Marijuana dispensaries throughout America are expected to sell nearly $1 billion worth of cannabis in preparation of 420, the official holiday that celebrates the plant that is in the midst of a national plight to become legalized and destigmtized.
420 has been traditionally associated with civil disobedience, as casual and ardent marijuana smokers gather together in public spaces to recreationally smoke the drug at 4:20PM. However, the drug's rapidly expanding legalization will mean that many more Americans will face very little punishment for lighting up.
Ryan Smith, CEO of LeafLink notes how "it's holiday season for cannabis retailers right now. Last year was the biggest day ever. This year will be the biggest day ever. And next year will be even bigger than this year."
As a result, tens of thousands of people are expected to gather en masse in Denver to take part in the day's festivities, bringing an influx of visiting patrons to local hotels and dining establishments during a traditionally quiet time of year. The event, which is being called the Mile High 420 Festival, will feature performances from Lil Wayne and Lil John alongside dozens of food trucks.
"To us, this is a cultural celebration for a year in a life of cannabis," reveals Kyle Speidell, the CEO of The Green Solution, a chain of 16 marijuana stores in Colorado. "It gives everybody the opportunity to unify at a time when we’re really ostracized as an industry."