Lots of holidays come with cumbersome traditions, but there's one that encourages doing whatever you want to do — especially if it's fun. Although many cannabis lovers plan to stay home on April 20 — or 420 — some Austin organizers are putting on more intensively curated events.
The weird and youthful capital is already a growing destination for the cannabis industry including hemp products and cannabinoids (like CBD, CBG, and delta-9). Especially in communities like Austin with a strong wellness culture, brands have started taking a more thoughtful approach to something that used to be best advertised through irreverence and mystery.
There's no better time or place to get started on a cannabis journey, whether the goal is to get high or stay grounded. Here are four events by some of Austin's top cannabis brands this 420.
This cannabis company partners often with local businesses, making it an easily recognizable cornerstone of the Austin market. There are tons of places to buy Earlybird CBD products, but the lineup itself is small, keeping things simple with full-spectrum CBD tinctures and gummies. These products contain all the natural compounds of the plant, including a very low level of THC (likely imperceptibly so, but worth noting for people who may take drug tests).
Earlybird has curated a big party and show at Fairweather Cider with KOOP, Austin's adventurous community radio station. Kind Keith and a special guest will play tunes live, alongside DJ Sets by Art Baker of Jamaican Gold and Honest John of Voyager. Spicy Boys Fried Chicken and Tastemaker Awards nominee Bad Larry Burger Club will offer indulgent snacks while Earlybird hands out treats from the "gummy ball machine" to guests age 21 and up.
The free show is open to the public without an RSVP. Check Instagram for more information. 4-10 pm.
Perhaps the best-known CBD store in town, Restart CBD earns its great reputation with almost impossibly detailed advice both online and taped to in-store display cases. The huge selection offers lots of versatility from gummies, to oils, to pre-rolls, pet treats, baked goods, and more. A scroll through the website preps a CBD user with science, legislation, and more readable anecdotal tips. It even maintains a partnership with a CBD hotline.
Cannabis, pizza, and a movie are a timeless combination, so Restart and Salvation Pizza have teamed up to host "Dosed and Infused." The pizza party includes a showing of a famous Austin movie (Dazed and Confused) with $4.20 slices and a delta-8 infused ranch dipping sauce. (If you think dipping pizza in ranch is weird, consider that you'll be in an altered mental state.) The first 30 guests will receive a goodie bag with Restart products.
This showing is free and open to guests 21 and up. Reserve on Eventbrite. 6-8 pm.
The Happy Cactus Apothecary
This store is Austin to its core. The pink trailer is like a food truck for CBD products, and a new brick-and-mortar shops expands the good vibes in the same hue. The store is known for its high-quality selections that the founders have "researched and tested" across the country, as well as its welcoming atmosphere. The Happy Cactus makes its own gummies alongside the teas, salves, and more it carries from other brands.
This 420 celebration doubles as a birthday party for the shop. Starting at 4:20 pm, of course, there will be free beer, a live DJ, goodie bags, and more. A raffle will be available to any visitor who spends $50, and will be active both at the party at the trailer at 5700 Menchaca Rd. and at the brick-and-mortar at 3414 E. 7th St. Prizes are not listed, but they'll total $420 worth of products. That $50 should be easy to hit given the "dope deals" teased.
RSVP on Eventbrite. 4:20-6 pm.
Austinite Cannabis Co.
This smaller company is known for its knowledgeable and friendly staff, and a storefront that brings together a wide range of products by many brands, including non-CBD products like books, merch, and creative smoking accessories. It embraces more of the stoner culture that cannabis shops were known for before the legalization of CBD and whitewashing of hemp products. The team also hosts a round table podcast for stories from within the industry.
Austinite Cannabis Co. hosts a recurring event called Cannabis Combat Club that surely won't be anything like other brands' celebrations — not to mention, it celebrates two days late on April 22, so visitors can make this event in addition to their prior 420 commitments. The store will host an open mat jiu-jitsu spar in the back with "light refreshments" and standing and sitting room for spectators.
RSVPs (via Eventbrite) are not required, but requested for an estimated headcount. 11 am to 2 pm.
Readers should note that cannabis legislation and industry practices are evolving very quickly on a state-by-state basis. The FDA has not approved any cannabis products without a prescription. Lack of FDA approval does not mean that a substance is definitively unsafe — the agency simply has not conducted enough studies to make a recommendation.