Forget 5:00—4:20 Is the New Happy Hour

For anyone who regularly chooses cannabis over alcohol, 4:20 is already the de facto happy hour. Finally, the rest of the world is catching up.

 Where to Find a 4:20 Happy Hour

Upscale establishments in both LA and San Francisco have launched happy hours beginning at 4:20 p.m., a sign of cannabis’s ever-expanding place in mainstream consciousness. EdiBOL, in downtown LA, the Happy 420 Hourmenu features deep-fried bites (“Munchabols”—all priced at $4.20) and cocktails named after cannabis strains (complete, we noticed during a recent visit, with strain descriptors—relaxed, uplifted, etc.—from the Leafly pages for each drink’s namesake strain). The menu runs from 4:20 to 7:00 p.m. every weekday.

More recently, in June, San Francisco’s beloved Flore—the site of the auspicious first meeting between famed cannabis activists Dennis Peron and Mary Jane “Brownie Mary” Rathbun, and a hub for revolutionary rethinking of cannabis since the 1970s—launched a CBD-and-terpene-infused cannabis cocktail/mocktail menu (supported with a selection of happy hour munchies to go with them, and augmented with CBD-infused beer on tap). The happy hour pays homage to the café’s (and more generally, the Castro neighborhood’s) rich history and significance in cannabis history. Each of the 16 drinks on the menu contains a low dose of CBD and terpenes that mimic specific cannabis strains. The menu runs from 4:20 to 7:20 p.m. on weekdays (though Flore is considering cutting the happy hour off at 7:10 in a nod to the dabbing community).

Why the Shift Matters

What’s notable about this evidence of a shift toward daily celebrations of 4:20 in non-cannabis establishments is that the concept of happy hour as we know it has long been associated with the most popular substances of the day. The idea of an after-work drinking occasion originated when absinthe was at the height of its popularity in Europe in the 1800s, and was originally called l’heure vert: The Green Hour (after the color of the drink congregated over). After absinthe fell out of favor, the same concept was rebranded as happy hour during the Prohibition era, and again was associated with the hot commodity of the day: alcohol more generally. Now, as cannabis consumption and acceptance of it both continue to skyrocket, cannabis’s own version of happy hour—4:20—may be the new five o’clock.

Although the alcohol is still present, elements of cannabis culture as well as cannabis itself are defining this new trend. “[Before], folks were getting up from the table to go smoke a joint and we needed to solve that—how are people going to consume and enjoy their cannabis and socialize over it?” explains Aaron Silverman, one of two co-owners of Flore. “Starting with cannabis-infused cocktails help bridge that gap over to socialization and food,” agrees Terrance Alan, Flore’s other co-founder. “Menu items on the munchie menu … not only go well with our new drinks [but] resonate with the cannabis community.”

Copious dispensaries, of course, have celebrated 4:20 as a happy hour for years: Greenway Marijuana in Port Orchard, WA, for instance, offers daily specials starting at 4:20 and running until 8:00 p.m. Bud and breakfasts also get in on the fun: Maine’s utterly charming 200-year-old Laughing Grass Inn, which runs “Maine’s premier bud and breakfast event from August to September,” offers a complimentary 4:20 happy hour during the event featuring a bud bar and edibles at no extra cost. Occasionally, even bars will throw events for the 4/20 holiday itself, like Florida’s Square Grouper Bar and Grill did (sadly, no cannabis was served). But besides being a cannabis promotional tool and a novelty for those outside the industry, 4:20 has long been under-celebrated.

What a great concept!! It will be just a matter of time before we see this trend hit Arizona. I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to it! Call us if you need to get your medical marijuana certification or renew your card, cheers!  – Natural Healing Care Center – 520-323-0069