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High Holidays: The Origins of 420

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At Kiva , 420 is our favorite holiday for so many reasons. To celebrate, we want to take a moment to honor the history of this great holiday. The words “420” and “cannabis” go together like “Kiva” and “Confections,” but few know the real history about the now national holiday, celebrated annually on April 20th. And just like our company, the infamous terminology was born in Northern California. It’s all thanks to the Grateful Dead, who adopted the phrase from a group of San Rafael High School students nicknamed the “Waldos” who frequented the band’s early shows in the Bay Area. The group of five friends had heard about an abandoned cannabis crop and decided to set out on a search. Armed with a treasure map made by the grower, they met at 4:20 p.m. at the Louis Pasteur statue on campus, and embarked on their journey. Many failed attempts ensued, but they continued to convene every day in the same spot for after school sessions. Soon morphing into a codeword both for the clique and for smoking pot by their classmates, the term spread underground through the Grateful Dead’s audience, just as the band began touring the globe. High Times eventually got wind of it, too, using 420 speak throughout stories in its monthly magazine. Colleges later started organizing official events on 4/20 every spring with smoke outs on quads across the country, with full-on cannabis festivals following in cities from Denver to Seattle to San Francisco. But 420 means much more than just an all-out party … 420 unites the cannabis community through a date, time and voice to this day, carrying on the legacy of its counterculture beginnings.

You can find Kiva Confections’ line of premium cannabis infused edibles at a local licensed dispensary in CA, NV, AZ, IL, HI, and MI. For those located in California, keep your eye out for a special, limited edition Munchies Bar we made especially for the 4/20 holiday. 

Wherever you are located, your support of the regulated cannabis marketplace keeps the industry and movement thriving. If you don’t have a licensed dispensary in your area or live in a still-illegal state, share your voice in support of ending marijuana prohibition through any one of the following organizations:

NORML

MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT

DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE

AMERICANS FOR SAFE ACCESS