420: What Does 420 Mean?

Ever wonder why people refer to “420”? What does 420 mean? April 20th, or 420 (“four-twenty”), is a day for Marijuana enthusiasts worldwide to gather and commemorate all things related to cannabis, its cultivation, and consumption. The meaning originated as a way for a group of San Rafael high school students in California in the 1970s to signal each other to meet after school (4:20 p.m.) and smoke pot. As this code for marijuana spread, it morphed into variations, including the adjective “420 friendly,” referring to businesses and lodgings that have made accommodations for their patrons’ legal consumption of marijuana.

“One way to attract people to your cannabis product’s brand is by building one that connects in some way with the cannabis culture.”

Effectively marketing cannabis products requires understanding what motivates your customers to purchase them, and more specifically, why they should want to buy from you. One way to attract people to your cannabis product’s brand is by building one that connects in some way with the cannabis culture at large. By grasping this definition of 420, you can move closer to accomplishing that goal.

Why Is 420 Weed Day?

On the 20th of April each year, millions of people mark the occasion as a day of celebration relating to marijuana smoking. For many, especially in places where pot is legal, this stoner holiday is a day to gather with friends and get high. Mass gatherings take place in cities worldwide for people to partake and enjoy.

In other areas, the day is one of advocacy for marijuana legalization activists. Those in favor of legalizing marijuana everywhere protest and petition their governments to rescind laws that criminalize the sale and use of the herb.

There are legions of stories that attempt to explain how people began to associate 420 with cannabis use. The tales range from the absurd (April 20 is Hitler’s birthday, so it’s related to pot-smoking somehow) to the plausible but wrong (sorry, there are 500, not 420, active chemicals in marijuana).

The one that seems to have the most credibility revolves around some Californian teenagers in the 1970s. The group met and smoked marijuana almost every day after school. They would pass the signal earlier when they saw each other around the school. If they heard “Four twenty,” the secret code meant they were planning to meet after classes dismissed at 4:20 p.m. and enjoy some weed together.

The slang spread from the small group to eventually become a universal code for smoking marijuana. Somewhere during the process, someone converted 420 to the calendar date of April 20. The day eventually evolved into a celebration of marijuana and the culture, lore, and customs surrounding its use by weed smokers.

What Does 420 Friendly Mean?

When you see or hear the term “420 friendly,” it typically means that you can smoke marijuana on the premises. Business owners and innkeepers in states where pot is legal will often include the phrase in their advertising to signal to customers that weed is welcome.

A common misconception among “canna-tourists,” those traveling to vacation destinations where marijuana is legal for the specific purpose of partaking for recreational purposes, is that they can light up anywhere. The truth is that each state and various countries where pot is legal still have restrictions on where people can consume it.

Lawmakers dealing with the legalization of pot issue, especially in the US, have taken care to shield children from what some consider a gateway drug. As a result, those under 21 do not have access to marijuana consumption, and ordinances usually prohibit its use in areas where children typically gather.

Business owners can offer a safe place, inaccessible to children, where customers can legally smoke marijuana. They do this to incentivize customers to give them their business.

So 420 friendly means visitors will find a safe place to light up and enjoy cannabis. This area will either be indoors or in a fenced-off area outside. A setting like this is an oasis to travelers from states where their favorite pastime is considered a crime.

Providing a place for customers to smoke and enjoy weed safely is only the surface meaning of 420 friendly. Its deeper meaning embodies a philosophy that embraces one or more aspects of the weed culture and lifestyle.

Tapping the Power of 420 Friendly for Your Cannabis Product Branding

Marijuana is a powerful combination of substances that offer users a spectrum of benefits in the physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual realms. As a result, selling cannabis consumable products allows you to connect with your customers in powerful ways not afforded to most other product vendors.

Many marijuana users report that it helps them to:

  • Feel better
  • Sleep better
  • Improve health
  • Enjoy activities more
  • Deal with anxiety and depression
  • View life differently

With those kinds of purported benefits, it’s no wonder marijuana is big business. Of course, the competition is stiff in marijuana product sales, but success is available if you can find your particular niche and connect with your customers.

The audience of marijuana-product buyers is multifaceted. Many people use pot for many different reasons and prefer various delivery methods for consuming it. For example, medical marijuana has a long track record of sales and an established protocol for product branding. As a result, customers expect medical cannabis product packaging to look a certain way and contain the exact information the law requires about the chemical makeup of the contents.

Recreational pot, by contrast, is a newer sector and growing more rapidly. Users still want to discern the contents clearly, but they also want to see some fun in the packaging. These users choose to use weed for enjoyment. Packaging that says you are 420 friendly will help guide them to your brand. You can help them make that decision by using your cannabis product packaging to make them laugh or give them a detailed description of the experience they can expect.

Ultimately, your goal is to identify what your customer hopes to achieve by using your cannabis product. Linking to the 420 friendly cultural motifs gives you instant access to a once underground culture that is now rising to the surface as an influential purchasing sector of the economy.

At Kynd, we understand that your success relies on connecting with your customer. So let us know a little about your project, and we’ll help find ways to optimize your packaging to increase the effectiveness of your cannabis product marketing.


We’ll point you in the right direction!