It will finally be the first 4/20 with legal cannabis sales in Golden Gate Park, after the last two 4/20 celebrations were canceled by COVID-19, with boxer-turned-bud proprietor Mike Tyson scheduled to appear as a special guest.
Hang on to your hash pipes, people, because the infamous 4/20 on Hippie Hill is returning for 2022, after two consecutive COVID-19 cancellations. And for the first time ever, you’ll be able to buy legal cannabis from licensed vendors in Golden Gate Park at the 4/20 celebration, a move that’s been in the works for years for the annual high holiday for stoners.
“420 Hippie Hill is back!! Who’s ready?,” the event’s organizers said in a Saturday Instagram post. “This year will be the 1st year of legal cannabis sales at the Hippie Hill Farmers Market 🌿 + VIP area.”
It was early March of 2019 when San Francisco legalized cannabis sales and consumption at events held outside of dispensaries. But the regulatory timeline of that legislation was too tight for 4/20 at Hippie Hill to get the coveted permit that year, so the first legal cannabis sales event in San Francisco was the GrassLands section at Outside Lands 2019. The official 4/20 celebration was raring to sell cannabis in the park in 2020, but COVID-19 smoked out that possibility in both 2020 and 2021, as the Robin Williams Meadow area was gated off and had sprinklers going to ensure the hippies could not take their hill.
The promoter behind this now-official, permitted event actually announced in early February that the pot party in the park was back on. They tagged several cannabis brands in that post, presumably those expected to be represented in the park that day. The dispensary chain Stiiizy and online retail platform Weedmaps both acknowledged their planned participation in the comments of that post.
But now we have more detail on which performers are booked, and like the 4/20 event itself, the biggest name has a rather checkered past.
More than two decades after Mike Tyson bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear at the 1997 WBA Heavyweight Championship fight, the legendary boxer has released a line of edibles -- in the shape of ears https://t.co/bN15rc3b5h— CNN (@CNN) March 19, 2022
You may not know that Mike Tyson is in the weed game now, and his latest product has much of the cannabis world a little less than pleased with him. These are ear-shaped cannabis-infused gummies called Mike’s Bites, a reference to his 1997 ear-biting incident with Evander Holyfield. Tyson’s role as an entertainer at the 4/20 event is not clarified in the announcement.
But another listed co-headliner is Berner, the local stoner–rap icon who was instrumental in developing 4/20 at Hippie Hill into an official, sanctioned event. Other acts announced include comics Hannibal Buress and Jeff Ross, plus DJs Shortkut and Jah Yzer.
The 4/20 event in Golden Gate Park had frankly long been a menace, often leaving behind 20,000 pounds of trash, even as it grew into one of the largest cannabis events in the world. But the traditionally outlaw event was permitted for the first time in 2017, and by 2019, had figured out how to leave the park spotless.
There are few details in the announcement, but enough for us to figure out how the first legal-pot-sales 4/20 will look. The announcement says “21+,” so clearly they will be checking ID for entrance to the party. The announcement also describes it as a “Free Event,” as it has traditionally been (though some jokers in the past have sold $20 scam tickets), yet we also see some manner of “VIP Area” that would probably be paid admission.
And like at Outside Lands, legal cannabis sales are not likely to be available everywhere in the park. They will probably be confined to a particular, gated area, described by organizers as the “Hippie Hill Farmers Market,” for regulatory compliance reasons.
And there’s the rub with this event. Its most iconic annual moment is the 4:20 countdown, as seen above, where the entire Robin Williams Meadow goes up in a blaze of smoke. It is implausible to think that 4/20 revelers will politely escort themselves to that designated area — people will be blazing the fuck up all over the park at that moment. Certainly no one in attendance that day is going to complain about people smoking in Golden Gate Park. But it may generate complaints that the 4/20 crowd is not sticking with the regulations when smoking their sticky-icky.
And FYI, 4/20 falls on a Wednesday this year. The official 4/20 Hippie Hill celebration is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day.
Image: Joe Kukura, SFist