[Editor’s note: The cost for a booth was listed as $300 when this article was first posted. It has since changed to $450.]
It’s been nearly half a century since a group of California teenagers met after school each day at 4:20 pm to go search in vain for an abandoned crop of weed in Point Reyes National Seashore. The term 4/20 has gone on to become shorthand in cannabis culture and the twentieth day of the fourth month of the year is now celebrated around the world.
Vancouver was one of the first cities to embrace the annual grassroots smoke-out after Marc Emery first got the ball rolling in 1995 at Victory Square, and this year’s upcoming event promises to once again be massive.
This year’s 4/20 gathering is once again planned at Sunset Beach, where the event moved last year after outgrowing its traditional home outside the Vancouver Art Gallery downtown, although the separate 420 Classic protest will also take place the same day outside the art gallery.
Vendor booth went on sale today for $300 at the Cannabis Culture Store (307 West Hastings St.) and more information is available at 420vancouver.com. This year vendors will have the option of locating their booth space and setting up their tents and tables during the day on April 19. Security will be hired to patrol the area but vendors will be asked not to leave items of value unguarded over night.
Last year park board chair Sarah Kirby-Yung vowed to try to prevent the unlicensed event’s return to the new English Bay location due to the amount of garbage left behind by a crowd estimated to be between 25,000 to 50,000 cannabists. “It’s the board’s goal to ensure it’s not coming back next year, to this or any other park,” Kirby-Yung told the National Post in 2016. She did not immediately respond to an interview request about this year’s 420, which falls on a Thursday.
The City of Vancouver has never sanctioned the annual event, for which taxpayers foot the overtime bills for police, firefighters and paramedics as well as for parks staff.
No arrests were made at 4/20 last year of either buyers or sellers.