By Globe Staff  April 05, 2018

It’s a beloved holiday full of feel-good songs, feasting, and friends gathered around fragrant green trees. But unlike Christmas, this is an herb-centric, non-denominational celebration that is growing in popularity and helping to drive tourism in states where recreational marijuana is legal.

April 20 at 4:20 p.m is the most wonderful time of the year for those who enjoy spending time with their dear friend Mary Jane. It’s the date when pot smokers around the world open their stash and call in sick to work. But now 420 involves much more than listening to Phish and eating Pringles. People are traveling to cannabis hotspots to enjoy events such as gourmet meals with wine and pot pairings.

For the virtuous among you who are unfamiliar with the digits, 420 is the not-so-secret code for marijuana consumption. The April 20 celebrations have been going on for decades, but cannabis analysts are noticing that as recreational pot becomes legal, 420 events around the country are getting more diverse and sophisticated. Cannabis infused dumpling platters anyone? How about a 420 hike or pot-themed burlesque?


“People are now coming out of the cannabis closet,” said Derrick Riedle, founder and publisher of the marijuana lifestyle magazine Civilized. “It’s increasingly becoming this collection of very sophisticated events, especially in the legal states. These are events worth traveling for. It’s all because people are no longer afraid to talk about these things and celebrate these things with their friends and family around.”

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Gone are the hazy days when 420 celebrations were little more than klatches of roustabouts gathered in parks

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