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Rolling into 420: History, Traditions & How to Celebrate

April 20, 2023. 420 History, Traditions & How to Celebrate with The Fire Station Cannabis Co.

April 20, 1971.

April 20th has become the largest holiday in the cannabis community, but how? There are different theories of the true origin of 420, but the most credible and largely accepted version begins in 1971 with five high school students at San Rafael High School in Marin County, California. The group chose to meet at 4:20 p.m., after extracurricular activities had usually ended, by a wall outside their school. Because of this, they coined the nickname “the Waldos” and simply saying “420” became their code for all things cannabis, allowing them to discuss smoking pot without their parents or teachers knowing.

The notion of 420 spread when one group member became a roadie for the Grateful Dead and the band helped to popularize the term. In December of 1990, a group of Deadheads in Oakland, California handed out flyers that invited people to smoke “420” on April 20 at 4:20 p.m. A reporter for High Times Magazine got his hands on one of these flyers and printed it in a 1991 edition of the publication. High Times has referenced the number ever since. 



Pictured below is the original Grateful Dead 420 poster which amplified the popularity of the holiday. While this poster credited a police code for originating the code, High Times credited the Waldos with originating the term in a 1998 publication.

Once High Times Magazine printed the poster, the once ambiguous term became a staple. Its popularity grew as pop culture adapted it with nods of acknowledgement such as clocks being set to 4:20 in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and High Times launching their website as *Credit

The original Grateful Dead 420 poster which amplified the popularity of the holiday. While this poster credited a police code for originating the code, High Times credited the Waldos with originating the term in a 1998 publication.

420 Today (and Everyday)

What was once an underground code is now a worldwide stoner holiday. From cannabis culture to government law reform, everyone seems to have their own unique way of celebrating the holiday. As cannabis becomes legalized throughout the United States, proponents of the plant put on 420 events such as concerts and festivals stacked with talent who are known for their love of cannabis. Lawmakers have taken the term as an opportunity to announce new legislation or included it in the name of cannabis-related legislation. Today, recreational use of cannabis is legal in 21 states and medically in 37 states. While the plant isn’t currently federally legal, a 2021 Pew Research poll found that 91% of Americans believe that cannabis should be legalized to some degree. *Credit

Celebrating 420

So, how can you celebrate this holiday? As legalization grows, opportunities to celebrate do too. While April 20 usually brings the largest cannabis celebrations, 420 is really more of a state of mind than a date or time. We encourage you to use these ideas to continuously celebrate 420!

Stock up!

Dispensaries are known for running their best deals on 4/20. In fact, TFS will be offering sales not just on 4/20, but on the days leading up to it for anyone who wants to skip the lines.

Get creative.

A huge part of cannabis culture is creativity. Grab your paint set or any other preferred medium and get inspired!

Be social.

Celebrate your love for the plant by gathering with friends. Whether this means hanging out and watching a movie or turning classic drinking games like beer pong or flip cup into smoking games, it’s a great excuse to get the group together.


Many find meditation or yoga to be great outlets after consuming cannabis. If you haven’t tried this before and are looking for a more relaxing way to celebrate, put on some soft music and try it out.

Support the cause.

There’s a lot more history to cannabis than the history of 4/20. Take a moment to educate yourself or research how you can support cannabis reform through nonprofits such as the Last Prisoner Project.

Listen to our Rolling into 420 playlist.

We created a playlist on Spotify full of your favorite 420 songs and artists! Listen here.


Products to Celebrate With

Click below to shop our curated list of some of the best products to celebrate 420 with at your favorite TFS location. Note: all product links will bring you to our U.P. Wide Delivery menu.

Dixie Sleepberry and Focus

Dixie | Sleepberry & Focus Gummies

This blend of cannabinoids and terps helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Each gummy contains 10mg CBN, 5mg CBD, and 5mg THC.

Glacier Cannabis Glacier Peaks

Glacier Cannabis | Glacier Peaks

5 gram single nugs by Glacier Cannabis. The peak of flower experience - clean taste, maximum terps, frost-covered tops.

Redbud Roots CultivArt Sherb Breath Cart

Redbud Roots | CultivArt Sherb Breath Cart

Cannabis-derived terpenes blended with distillate, designed to represent a specific strain. Each cartridge contains a custom sticker.

Waypoint Party Marty Party Poppers

Waypoint | Party Marty Party Poppers

These pleasantly crisp, multicolored, and fruit flavored, THC-imbued* edible bites from Party Marty keep the party poppin'!

UpLift'N 5g Banger Full Spectrum Diamonds

UpLift'N | 5g Banger Full Spectrum Diamonds

Full Spectrum Diamonds are packed with terps for a potent and flavorful experience. Don't miss our limited offer: BOGO 50% off! (see the TFS deals page for details)

The Fire Station Wake and Bake Mug

The Fire Station | Wake & Bake Mug

WAKE UP, BAKE UP. This mug allows you to enjoy a cup of coffee and smoke a bowl of our finest flower for the perfect morning!

Shop the U.P.'s widest selection

The Fire Station is proud to serve the eight locations across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – Marquette, Negaunee, Ishpeming, Houghton, Hannahville, Iron River, Munising and Sault Ste. Marie. TFS offers the widest selection of recreational and medical cannabis at the lowest prices.

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In-Store and Curbside Pick Up Only! **CASH ONLY**


Recreational Only – Must be 21+ with valid government-issued photo ID


All valid Medical Marihuana cardholders get 10% OFF Recreational products – must show valid Medical Marihuana card & valid ID. Cannot be combined with any other discounts.

*SENIORS (65+)

Get 10% OFF – Must show ID. Cannot be combined with any other discounts.


Get 10% OFF – Must show ID. Cannot be combined with any other discounts.


-Please be respectful of our neighbors and do not park in their lots.

-Walk-in customers can park in the dirt lot behind Northern Hydroponics if there is space. Otherwise, please use the metered downtown street parking or other legal parking options including the downtown parking lots.


-Please have the appropriate amount of cash and a government-issued photo ID ready when you arrive. The 4 parking space behind our building will be designated for those who wish to order curbside, but have not yet placed an order. Our alleyway is reserved for those who have already placed a curbside pick up order. Please note that we are only able to fit 2-3 vehicles in this space. When exiting the alleyway you will only be able to turn right.