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A new, multi-day marijuana festival is coming to San Francisco this month. In a sign of just how far the mainstreaming of cannabis has come in the country (or, at least, in California), the 9-day festival focuses on bringing tourists to the city to experience its cannabis culture.
The festival runs from April 16-24, 2022, which naturally encompasses 4/20, a date many cannabis users celebrate as the 420 holiday. The festival is a long way from the fringe flower children who created the Summer of Love in 1967. Mainstream partners include the San Francisco Travel Association (SFTA) and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Organizers also plan an event at the San Francisco Public Library.
The SFTA promotes the event as a first of its kind in the country, saying, “from gay rights to environmentalism, HIV/AIDs activism to bold new technologies, San Francisco has led the way in making seemingly controversial ideas part of the mainstream.”
They note that cannabis was as much a part of San Francisco’s Summer of Love as tie-dye and rock and roll. “Cannabis is also emblematic of how San Francisco has always been ready to embrace and accept what the rest of the country didn’t understand or outright feared.”
What the event offers
According to Evergreen San Francisco, the “49-square-mile sensory playground that is San Francisco will be abuzz with cannabis-themed activities and complementary experiences.” These include the opportunity to take in the city’s cannabis lounges, dispensaries, attractions, foodie spots, art, nature hikes, and other experiences throughout the city.
More than 25 of San Francisco’s cannabis lounges and dispensaries also plan to participate in Evergreen San Francisco. They will offer event-related promotions and curated experiences. A complete list is available on the Evergreen San Francisco site.
Other activities include an interactive cannabis scavenger hunt and the Green Dream Cannabis Tour, a 420 history workshop at the San Francisco Public Library that will highlight the city’s “marijuana culture and history of activism.”
Partners for the event include the SFTA, San Francisco Cannabis Retailers Alliance, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District, and the San Francisco Cannabis Equity Group.
Embracing the Hippie Hill event
The non-city-sanctioned Hippie Hill event at Golden Gate Park has drawn people to San Francisco since the 1970s. However, COVID led to the event’s cancellation in 2020 and 2021. By launching the Evergreen event, the city hopes to draw people back to the city by embracing the Hippie Hill event and building something even bigger around it.
Plans call for music and entertainment in the park as part of the event, according to Fox 2 San Francisco. Rodney Fong, executive director of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, told Fox the event is important for the city.
“The cannabis industry is as iconic to San Francisco as the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, and Fisherman’s Wharf,” he said.
As is often the case, trends start in California and roll east across the country. Whether that holds with the mainstreaming of cannabis events remains to be seen. Still, visitors to San Francisco in April can see what happens when a city fully embraces the cannabis business and culture promotion.