Take Weed Day Off: Massachusetts Company Makes 420 a Paid Holiday

You can’t spend much time around cannabis users, especially in the spring, without someone bringing up the legend of 420. The 420 holiday supposedly started by weed-loving high school students in California who met at 4:20 p.m. after school to search for a lost field of cannabis. It’s since grown into a celebration of all things cannabis.

They’ve got one more big reason to celebrate at Temescal Wellness in Massachusetts. The cannabis company recently announced that they are making 420 a paid holiday for all employees. Temescal Wellness operates three dispensaries for medical and recreational sales in Framingham, Hudson and Pittsfield. They also run two production facilities and a corporate office in Framingham.

“420 is a day to show appreciation, love and respect for cannabis and its power to help amplify the health and happiness that people experience in their daily lives,” Sian Leininger, Director of Retail and Customer Engagement at Temescal Wellness, said in a news release.

He added that 420 is a day “to celebrate our employees, whose passion, knowledge and true dedication inspires their unparalleled service to our customers and our community all of the other days of the year.”

What’s the Big Deal With 420 Day?

The 420 holiday is a worldwide celebration held every April 20th by cannabis enthusiasts. It’s grown beyond its murky origins, evolving into a day that celebrates the history of cannabis culture. Celebrations built around the holiday have become rallying points for the cannabis legalization movement.

From its small beginnings, 420 has become a cultural phenomenon. Millions of people worldwide participate in 420 events. Many cannabis dispensaries offer special promotions or events throughout April and on the 20th. For some people, it’s just a fun event. For others, it’s a chance to make a political statement.

In Massachusetts, employees of the Temescal Wellness can choose to do either, because they won’t have to work that day.

Creating Space for Employees to Celebrate

Leininger said that Temescal Wellness decided to give employees 420 off as a paid holiday because the company’s leaders wanted employees to have the chance to celebrate the important holiday on their own in a way that they see fit.

Leaders at Temescal Wellness also said they hope the move further removes the stigma around cannabis use by normalizing the holiday for both the cannabis community and the broader public.

In addition to this notable decision by a large cannabis company, many of the most high-profile  420 events in the United States are returning for the first time in full force since the height of the coronavirus pandemic. High Times, the online site of the long-running, cannabis-focused magazine, listed some of the events that will return in 2023.

They include the  4/20 at Hippie Hill event in in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, which will also live stream online for those who cannot attend. Also, the Mile High 420 Festival returns to Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado, as does the National Cannabis Festival at the RFK Festival Grounds in Washington, D.C. on April 22.

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