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Cannabis enthusiasts rally at pot shops after S.F. cancels 4/20 celebration

Marijuana devotees celebrate S.F. Weed Week at local dispensaries
Marijuana devotees celebrate S.F. Weed Week at local dispensaries 02:39

SAN FRANCISCO -- With the cancellation of the highly anticipated 4/20 marijuana festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, cannabis enthusiasts are shifting their focus from Hippie Hill to local dispensaries, where celebrations have been ongoing throughout the week and are expected to culminate on Saturday.

David Goldman, a longtime cannabis fan, said some are determined to gather at Hippie Hill.

"I figure that many people would still go to Hippie Hill even though it's been canceled. Perhaps, of 40,000, they'll have 10,000. The city can't stop people from coming," he said.

Rather than dwell on the cancellation, Goldman and others like him have been exploring alternative ways to celebrate, particularly during San Francisco Weed Week.

"Every night from April 13 to April 20 there's been more than one event. Many of them at cannabis consumption lounges such as Mo Greens and Mission Cannabis Club where people can, not only purchase cannabis but taste some cannabis that's coming out now," Goldman explained.

Kevin Ortiz, another festival regular, shared his plans for Saturday, highlighting a different approach to celebration.

"Born and raised in the Mission District -- whenever I go to smoke is at Dolores Park so my plans for Saturday are gonna be going to Mission cannabis club and picking up a nice preroll joint and go to watch the view at Dolores Park," he said.

Ortiz emphasized the importance of community and advocacy within the cannabis industry.

"I'm excited because we're gonna be doing an event for the first time with the Latino Democratic Club and the Brownie Mary Democratic Club. We're having a mixer, talking about how do we continue to bring equity and representation to the cannabis industry -- especially when we know that Black and Brown folks have been negatively impacted by this for years," Ortiz said.

Dispensaries have seen a surge in customers during Weed Week.

"This is like the Black Friday of cannabis so there's definitely a lot of deals and things like that but we also try to make it different here at Solful and a lot of that has to do with how we source our flower. Everything we source we buy directly from all farmers in Northern California," the owner of Solful in San Francisco's Sunset District said.

Goldman and Ortiz both hope that, despite the festival cancellation, the spirit of celebration and camaraderie within the cannabis community will continue to thrive.

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