Smoke Screen: 4/20 bumped into cyberspace

Published on April 16, 2020 by David Wylie

Heather Dallmann’s birthday always draws high society.

It falls on April 20.

While she typically attends 4/20 events and then tops the day off with a big party—complete with a pot-leaf cake—this year will be different. Social distancing due to COVID-19 has butted out big events, as those who usually partake in groups to celebrate are urged to stay home instead.

Dallmann told the oz. she has been working to organize a virtual smoke circle to promote the love of community.

“I have been trying to email out to all kinds of people that are known to smoke to invite them to take a personal video of themselves,” says Dallmann. “Get passed a joint from the right side of the screen then take a toke and pass it out of screen to the left. Then the next video would be the same. Then the next.

“It would be amazing to have Seth Rogen participate or Tommy Chong… like a ‘we are the world,’ but with weed.”

Dallmann’s approach is a wake (and bake) up call for other pot partakers who may be thinking of joining a large gathering.

As tempting as it is to get together, there are other ways to join in the festivities. Consider a video conference or joining in a discussion on social media. Make 4-20 a more intimate event if you have a partner who likes to get high.

It bears repeating: the current advice coming from health authorities is to skip in-person events — if not for our own sake, then for the sake of others who are at a greater risk.

The message is also being echoed by cannabis retailers in how they are handling 4-20.

Consumers are being urged to plan ahead, understand the health guidelines and take appropriate precautions.

Darren Bondar, president and CEO of Inner Spirit Holdings (Spiritleaf), spoke in a recent BDSA webinar.

“It will definitely be more low-key,” he says.

The company has been pondering the idea of a virtual concert, possibly in Saskatchewan where the guidelines are “a little more liberal.”

Bondar says they are also tying 4-20 to Earth Day and awareness about recycling cannabis packaging.

“We’re focusing on the positive being kind, and really making 4-20 this year about spreading peace love and harmony,” he says.

As for Dallmann, she says she wants to create a little bit of comradery that comes from a pot circle, even if it has to be through the internet.

If you want to pass along a video of yourself for her virtual circle, email us at hello@okanaganz.com and we’ll put you in the circle.