Cannabis in the time of corona

Apr 3, 2020

The Spirit of 420: Cannabis in the Time of Corona

The story of 4:20 is a mystery. Perhaps it came from a 1939 H.P. Lovecraft short story. Maybe it was the after-school rituals of California teenagers in the 1970s. No one really knows. Whatever it’s origin, it’s a time of day as popular in cannabis culture as happy hour is to after-work alcohol. So much so in fact, that for fifty years the twice-daily event has grown to include April 20th annually. 

420 Canceled

This year was going to be an exciting one for cannabis. The one time in a century the entire fourth month is in a year ending in 20. Everybody within the cannabis family was eagerly awaiting the month-long celebration. As rare and magical as Haley’s Comet. A once-in-a-lifetime event to see and experience. 

Then COVID-19 arrived. Not only demolishing grand-scale festivities but also destroying even small celebrations with friends. An entire culture driven by coming together, to support changing the social and legal stigma of cannabis, now must distance themselves.

Take Measure

The cannabis culture is, at its heart, people who dare to dream in the face of bad days. People who want to make negative thoughts positive, depressing news easier to bear, and physical limitations boundless. They want, through cannabis, to improve lives and make a difference. Through sharing with and loving one another. That’s why philanthropy and social responsibility play an important role in the modern cannabis business. As cannabis becomes an ever-growing industry, those involved in it are still the kind of folk who know what it means to all be in this together.

In that vein, instead of hosting a 420 celebration, Grass Roots is issuing a public service announcement. We are heartbroken we’re not bringing the community together in a grand brouhaha of education and festivity. But protecting our community is ultimately more important than celebrating with them. (If much less fun.)

Caring Isn’t Sharing

Social norms dictate sharing with those around you is a big part of enjoying cannabis. However, this must change. It’s time to bogart – my friend – because sharing is not ok right now. It’s almost impossible to share cannabis from six feet away. Particularly in a way that doesn’t involve exposure to respiratory droplets. 

Puff, puff, don’t pass! Be aware of virus transmission.

And that’s not the only precaution needed. The novel coronavirus is a respiratory virus, and combusting products may increase harm. Smoke is a lung irritant. If you’re at risk – vulnerable to respiratory illness or immunocompromised – consider putting down the flower and substituting with edibles or tinctures. Vaping is also an improvement over smoking.

As always, avoid illicit products and use legal, vetted, market sources. This ensures the potential for stressed and damaged lungs is minimized. It eliminates pesticides and contaminants. Illicit vape cartridges caused a rash of lung illnesses in the past year all by themselves. The dangers of their use don’t need the fuel of a global pandemic.


“Pot” is actually short for potagaya. It became part of the American language in the 1930s. It was derived from potación de gaya – a Spanish wine or brandy steeped in cannabis leaves. The literal translation of this infusion is “drink of grief.” The cannabis industry has worked hard to remove the stigma and negative connotations associated with “pot.” We can keep the word. There’s no need to revive the sentiment. 

We’re going to miss celebrating cannabis this April. The way it deserves and with our community. With the type of event that truly honors something that only occurs once a century. But when we finally come together, the celebration will be so much sweeter. Stay safe family. Because we can’t wait to see you again.

While our Chattanooga and Fort Oglethorpe stores are closed to customers, we still offer curbside pickup and orders online, over the phone, and via Facebook and Instagram. We’ll also ship directly to you. Our products are tax-free through April 15th and purchases over $49.99 ship for free. All other purchases ship $5 flat rate. We encourage you to contact us with any additional questions or comments.

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