Pot PR Guy Makes the Rounds on 4/20

MMJ card in hand, I'm working my way to Bay Area dispensaries.

Photo by: David Downs, San Francisco Chronicle

Photo by: David Downs, San Francisco Chronicle

Happy 420! April 20, or 4/20, is known as "Weed Day" to many. A great story in The Cannifornian titled "The origins of 4/20, explained" tells how a group of San Rafael high school kids known as "the Waldos” coined the code in 1971. The slang gained cred when the guys started hanging out with the Grateful Dead

Fast-forward to the early 1990s when Steve Bloom, a reporter for the cannabis magazine High Times, was at a Dead show when he was handed a flier urging people to “meet at 4:20 on 4/20 for 420-ing in Marin County at the Bolinas Ridge sunset spot on Mt. Tamalpais.” High Times published it.

Today, "420" on this date (and every day at 4:20pm) is synonymous with cannabis culture.

Check out this video from High Times with the inside scoop on the secret origin of 420.

And take a look at the San Francisco Chronicle's coverage, Thousands turn out for Golden Gate Park's 4/20 party.

I stayed in the East Bay and headed out to visit Magnolia Oakland and Blüm Oakland and Harborside Health Center.

Speaking of Harborside, in my last blog post I came clean about how I'd been doing PR and communications consulting with cannabis industry clients but never stepped foot in a medical marijuana (MMJ) dispensary. When my MMJ certification arrived, this nonprofit dispensary was my first visited.

I went in to Harborside not knowing what to expect. I was impressed!
Free welcome gift and brochure from Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif.

Free welcome gift and brochure from Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif.

Friendly staff welcomed me as soon as I entered. I told them it was my first visit and was introduced to a staff member who told me about the facility as well as member benefits such as complimentary classes and programs, holistic healing sessions and discount programs for veterans and seniors. The intro continued with a tour of the shopping area where products and plants and all things cannabis-related are beautifully showcased. 

Representatives in each area I spoke with were friendly and knowledgeable. They answered my questions about various ways to consume cannabis products, including topical gels and lotions, edibles, oral delivery methods (e.g., tinctures, ingestible oils), vaporizing and smoking.

The reason I got my MMJ card in the first place was because of shoulder pain and related sleep trouble. I didn't purchase any product on my first visit but I was given a choice of a free welcome gift. I chose an HLT Brownie with 80mg THC (see photo). The budtender explained a starter dose is 5-15mg and she told me to divide the brownie into 16 pieces of 5mg each. As someone who can eat an entire pan of brownies in one sitting, this was valuable advice!

As the @PotPRGuy and principal of TNTpr, I look forward to visiting the dozens of medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the Bay Area. In the meantime, have a happy and healthy 4/20.

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