420 Vancouver Cannabis Festival | Vancouver's Best Places (2023)

420 Vancouver Cannabis Festival | Vancouver's Best Places (1)

The 4/20 Vancouver Smoke Out is a controversial weed-themed festival that celebrates marijuana and pot culture. It takes place on April 20th most years.

The event started out years ago as a protest, but, especially now that cannabis is legal in Canada, it’s arguably really just a giant free festival.


Vancouver’s annual pot protest is not taking place this year. According to the organizers, COVID-related mandates and government restrictions earlier in the year didn’t give them adequate time to plan and prepare for this year’s event. The organizers also state that they are “not affiliated with any other group holding their own 420 celebrations.”

In 2022, other organizers are holding a 420 event outside the Vancouver Art Gallery starting at 11:00 am. The celebrations include live music, guest speakers and more. Click Vancouver 420 2022 for more information.

Now called the “420 Vancouver Protest and Farmers Market”, the festival would have celebrated its 26th year on April 20th in 2020. However, due to the ban on large gatherings caused by COVID-19 the festival was cancelled that year. The 2021 event was also cancelled (although a couple of hundred people still showed up). The 2022 event has been cancelled as well. 2023 details are to be confirmed.

(Video) Things to do in Vancouver - FREE Cannabis Festival 420

In years when it does take place, the event is one of many “4/20” events that take place around Canada and the world. All started out as protests against the illegal status of marijuana, and today the Vancouver event is the longest running 4/20 event on the planet.

420 Vancouver Cannabis Festival | Vancouver's Best Places (2)

420 Vancouver in 2020

In 2020 the 420 Vancouver event was supposed to take place at Sunset Beach on Monday, April 20th from noon until 8 pm. The event was cancelled due to the coronavirus and the ban on large gatherings.

Sunset Beach is at 1204 Beach Drive which is at the entrance to False Creek between the Burrard Street Bridge and English Bay Beach.

420 Vancouver is always a large event and attracts thousands of people in normal years. Folk travel from all over to see it.

What to Expect

At the 420 Vancouver event you can expect to see thousands of people, hundreds of market stalls and all kinds of marijuana-related products, paraphernalia and souvenirs. There are t-shirts and tie-died clothing to buy, pot-infused edibles to check out, weed to purchase and clouds of smoke and smells in the air.

Bands play live music at the event, there are people openly smoking dope, and there is also a police presence (although officers are there primarily just to make sure nothing gets too far out of hand, not to arrest people).

Although an unsanctioned event involving illegal activities and banned substances, even today in Canada’s new world of legalized pot, 420 Vancouver is a safe and relatively well-run event. Despite the clear police presence, unless they do something really stupid, folk are generally no more likely to get arrested at this event than any other regular festival. This is Vancouver after all!

(Video) 420 Vancouver: The Sights, Sounds and Characters

420 Vancouver Cannabis Festival | Vancouver's Best Places (3)

The History of 4/20 and the Vancouver Event

The 4/20 movement began in California in the 1970s as a pot-smoking social event among a small group of friends. It developed into a movement though, as a protest against laws criminalizing the use of marijuana. The event gets its name from the date the event has always taken place on – April 20th, or 4/20.

420 Vancouver is one of a number of 4/20 events that sprang up around North America. The first Vancouver 4/20 protest took place in 1995 at Victory Square in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. A couple of years later the event moved to the plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery where it remained until 2015.

At its new downtown venue the crowds grew from just over 1000 people in the first year or so up to over 30,000 by the end. In 2016 the event moved to its current location at Sunset Beach.

420 Vancouver Cannabis Festival | Vancouver's Best Places (4)

Why is it so Controversial?

420 Vancouver is a controversial event for a number of reasons. An obvious one is its theme. Pot and cannabis culture are controversial topics, and especially so until they were legalized in Canada in 2018.

In more recent years 420 Vancouver has been controversial because of the damage it causes each year, its costs to the city and its continued ignoring of municipal bylaws (like that of no smoking in public parks).

Each year, since moving to Sunset Beach, there have been thousands of dollars of damage to the park’s lawns because of the crowds of people involved. Especially in years with rainy weather, the lawns get trashed.

As 420 Vancouver is a “protest”, however, and not a “festival”, or so it still claims. As a result it has to-date managed to avoid these huge expenses (much to the frustration of some local taxpayers).

(Video) Seth Rogen and David Chang Smoke Weed and Eat Vancouver's Best Food | Netflix Is A Joke

2019 was almost definitely the last year that the festival takes place at Sunset Beach for a number of reasons. One is because the venue is a public park where “smoking” isn’t permitted. A second reason is that the Vancouver Park Board doesn’t want the event held at the park because of the smoking issue, but also because of the damage caused by all the thousands of people that attend.

A third reason the event likely won’t happen again at Sunset Beach, now that cannabis is legal in Canada, is that it’s hard to argue that the event is still really just a “protest” and not a “festival.” As a festival, going forward, it will have to follow the rules (and obey bylaws including those of the Vancouver Park Board).

Who Goes to Vancouver’s 4/20 event?

A lot of the attendees of the event go for the weed and “pot culture”, and because they support the festival’s protest history and the camaraderie of the movement and the festival. Many also go to stock up on marijuana. At the same time, however, many attendees also just go because they are curious, or want to enjoy the free concerts and festive atmosphere.

Not everyone at 420 Vancouver is a pothead, and many in fact have never actually smoked a joint (although they are definitely in the minority).

Despite being a controversial event involving both illegal and semi-legal substances, and despite the fact that smoking in public isn’t permitted and that second-hand smoke can be harmful to one’s health – if you ignore all that – 420 Vancouver is a surprisingly family-friendly event. You’ll see people there of all ages, but especially young adults as well as older folk who enjoy pot culture.

420 Vancouver Cannabis Festival | Vancouver's Best Places (6)

Tips and Advice

Below is some extra information to help you make the most out of your 420 experience.

(Video) 4/20 Returns to the Vancouver Art Gallery

TIP #1: If you plan to consume cannabis don’t drive afterwards. Plan how to get home in advance. And even if you don’t plan to “consume” any products, consider taking public transit anyways. Parking will be difficult and, if you stay for any period of time, unless you plan to wear a gas mask, you’ll likely breath enough smells to make you legally impaired anyways.

TIP #2: Just because the event takes place in public and there are police in the area, and nobody is getting arrested, doesn’t mean that products for sale are legal. Many of them aren’t. Marijuana can only be sold legally at and by officially-licensed stores and distributors (which vendors at the event are not). It is also illegal to sell pot to minors.

TIP #3: If buying and using drugs, including recently legalized ones, do so carefully if at all. Even otherwise “safe” drugs aren’t always safe (as evidenced by Vancouver and North America’s current fentanyl crisis). Drugs are addictive and drugs can kill. Also, smoking anything has health consequences. To be safe, buy your pot from an “authorized” dealer.

TIP #4: Even if you don’t plan to buy or consume any weed yourself, don’t attend 420 Vancouver if, soon after, you plan to (1) attend a job interview, (2) visit grandma or your boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents, or (3) take an international flight or cross the US border. Odds are, at least until you bath and wash your clothes, you’ll smell of pot.

420 Vancouver Cannabis Festival | Vancouver's Best Places (7)

Other Information

For more information about the event see the 420 Vancouver website.

For a list of other events see our April Calendar or click .

Other articles that might be of interest include the following:

(Video) Marijuana activist shows off bong made from a leaf blower at 4/20 rally

  • Free Events in April
  • Vancouver on a Budget
  • Vancouver’s Top Beaches
  • English Bay Beach
  • Vancouver’s West End
  • Lower Mainland Farmers Markets


Where is the 420 Festival in Vancouver? ›

420 Vancouver Market at Sunset Beach.

Does Vancouver have 420? ›

420 Vancouver is always a large event and attracts thousands of people in normal years.

What is 4 20 in Canada? ›

4/20 origins in Canada

“In 1995, Marc Emery and his activist crew in Vancouver said 'Why don't we make April 20, 4/20, a full day of celebrating cannabis and protesting prohibition,'” Emery explained. “It turned into what became a really good rally.

Is 710 a stoner holiday? ›

710 or 7/10, is known as National Dab Day in the cannabis community, celebrated on July 10th every year. When the number 710 is upside down, it resembles the word OIL, which is used to describe very potent cannabis products like hash oil, shatter, wax, etc. After 420, 710 has become the second-largest cannabis holiday.

What is so special about 420? ›

Hager explained that a group of Californian teenagers ritualistically smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 pm. The ritual spread, and soon 420 became code for smoking marijuana. Eventually, 420 was converted into 4/20 for calendar purposes, and the day of celebration was born.

Where did Guy Fieri go in Vancouver? ›

U.S. restaurateur and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives TV series host Guy Fieri paid a visit to East Vancouver's popular comfort-food and brunch joint The Red Wagon at 2296 East Hastings Street, with the show's red convertible Camaro parked in front.

Where is under the big white top Vancouver? ›

Under the White Big Top Vancouver is located at 1 False Creek in Vancouver, BC.

Where is the Forest Fest 2022? ›

New Summertime Boutique Festival to enjoy, Forest Fest at Emo Village for a weekend of music and arts – headlined by The Waterboys.

Can I smoke on my balcony in BC? ›

Notwithstanding this smoking prohibition, smoking is allowed on balconies which are designated as limited common property, provided that the smoker maintains strict compliance with the Tobacco Control Act and Regulation, which directs that the smoker must remain a minimum of three (3) meters from the doorway, window or ...

What is the top predator on Vancouver Island? ›

Cougars are at the top of the food chain, and fierce predators. Although they will normally avoid confrontation with humans, unfortunately, their actions are often unpredictable. There is also little understanding of what might trigger an attack. Children and pets are most likely to be the victim of a cougar attack.

Can I bring edibles to Vancouver? ›

Entering Canada

Cannabis is legal for adults in Canada. However, it is still illegal to transport cannabis and products containing cannabis – including edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals – across the Canadian border: No matter how much cannabis you have with you.

What does 710 mean? ›

710 refers to July 10, just as 420 refers to April 20. This date was chosen for the simple fact that, if you turn the number 710 upside down, you can read the word “oil”, a reference to cannabis concentrates. Just as 420 is the time to light a joint, 710 is the time to dab.

What does 420 mean in slang? ›

The slang expression 420 originated in California in the 1970's when students would meet outside their school at 4:20 p.m. and smoke weed. In contemporary culture 420 refers to April 20 when at 4:20 p.m. pot smokers light up in celebration of marijuana use. Teenagers often use 420 as a replacement word for weed.

What is the meaning of 710 friendly? ›

This number signifies not only the consumption and celebration of cannabis but in a specific and preferred way for concentrate connoisseurs. While “420 Friendly” generally means “weed-friendly,” something that is “710 Friendly” signals a specific welcome to the concentrate community within cannabis culture.

What does 710 mean for dabs? ›

In today's dabbing world, 710 refers to “oil,” and July 10th is known as “OIL Day” If you look at the number upside down written out or on a calculator, you can make out the word oil, as in cannabis concentrates or dabs, the potent and long-lasting cannabinoid and terpene extracts.

Is disc golf a pothead? ›

The sample is dominated by disc golfers who have consumed cannabis (92 percent have used cannabis at some point in their lives). Among the users, 58 percent consume cannabis daily, and 82 percent have used it while playing disc golf.

Why do stoners celebrate 710? ›

Taskrok was looking for a day to celebrate dabbing much like how 420 celebrates the consumption of all cannabis. July 10th was chosen because 710 upside down and backwards looks like OIL — this is especially noticeable on a calculator.

What type of drug is Mary Jane? ›

Marijuana—also called weed, herb, pot, grass, bud, ganja, Mary Jane, and a vast number of other slang terms—is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa.

How do you celebrate 420? ›

Best Ways to Celebrate 420

Some choose to be active and outdoors on 420, while others prefer to cozy up at home. Some take this annual day of celebration to learn the history of the plant and look for ways to get involved in legalization and social justice efforts in their region.

What does 420 mean on tinder? ›

The phrase 420 FRIENDLY is typically used in personal ads and on dating sites, such as TINDER and Craig's List, to indicate that the poster smokes cannabis and/or is open to contact from someone who does. The number 420 is widely used to refer to cannabis.

Where do celebrities hangout in Vancouver? ›

Since its opening in 1986, Sutton Place Hotel has been the stomping ground for celebrities, so it comes as no surprise that the opulent Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar continues to be frequented by major stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Courtney Love.

Where did Anthony Bourdain go in Vancouver? ›

First up was Chef Pino Posteraro, who is the man behind the iconic Yaletown spot Cioppino's, focusing on upscale Italian and Mediterranean food. His second pick? Tojo's, which is a groundbreaking sushi spot in Vancouver and literally the birthplace of the California Roll.

What is Ryan Reynolds Favourite restaurant in Vancouver? ›

Reynolds recommended the Greek restaurant Minerva's in Kerrisdale, claiming it is his “all-time favorite.” He spelled favourite without the u; come on, Reynolds, you're Canadian! Reynolds also gave a shoutout to Ask for Luigi on Alexander Street, a little closer to the steam clock than Minerva's.

Where is the rich part of Vancouver? ›

West Vancouver tops off the list as the richest part of Vancouver with mega mansions overlooking the city.

Why do they called it Blood Alley Vancouver? ›

The name “Trounce Alley” didn't have the allure they were looking for, so they began calling it Blood Alley and introduced myths that the name derived from blood flowing from slaughterhouses in the alley. Alternatively, some claimed that hangings once took place there and inspired the name.

What is the nicest street in Vancouver? ›

Point Grey Road is the city's most exclusive street. This stretch of idyllic Kitsilano waterfront is accessible almost exclusively by a private road, making it the perfect low-traffic route for walking or riding a bike.

What is Forbidden forest 2022? ›

Forbidden Forest is a UK electronic music festival. Created by dance music fans for dance music fans, the festival is all killer no filler.

What time does Forest Fest start at? ›

Forest Fest 2022 Tickets, Fri 22 Jul 2022 at 16:00 | Eventbrite.

Can I sue a Neighbour for smoking? ›

If your neighbour is breaking the tenancy agreement or the law, you can take legal action. You may be able to get an order stopping the neighbour from smoking. In some cases, they may even have to compensate you for your suffering. Learn more about what a tenant can do if a neighbour's smoking is the problem.

Can you smoke in Vancouver streets? ›

They are allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in a public place. You are also allowed to smoke in public in BC with several important exceptions. Smoking and vaping cannabis is prohibited everywhere tobacco smoking and vaping are prohibited.

Can you smoke in your car BC? ›

It does not matter if you're parked or if you have no intention of actually putting the vehicle in motion. British Columbia's "Cannabis Control and Licensing Act" prohibits drivers and passengers alike from smoking or vaping cannabis inside motor vehicles and on boats.

Where in BC is there no smoke? ›

No smoke: Haida Gwaii only place in B.C. unaffected by wildfire haze since 2017.

Where are the most cougars on Vancouver Island? ›

The highest concentration of cougars are on the north eastern part of the island where their is also a higher concentration of blacktail deer, the favourite meal for this sly cat. Like Blacktail deer, they prefer the mountainous forested regions.

Where are the most cougars in BC? ›

Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of cougars in the world. And while conflicts between cougars and humans are rare, being prepared for a cougar encounter will help minimize the chance of harm to either yourself or these majestic creatures.

Can dogs smell dispensary edibles? ›

Dan Hayter, a former chief of the military drug-detection dog trainer and founder of K9 Global Training Academy strong believes that edibles aren't impossible to trace. He has even stated most dogs can be trained to recognize marijuana and THC substances that are mixed into flour without too much difficulty.

Can you be high in public in BC? ›

Adults can generally smoke or vape cannabis in a public place where smoking and vaping tobacco is not prohibited, but there are some additional areas where smoking and vaping cannabis will not be permitted. » On public patios (for example, a restaurant patio).

Can airport security track edibles? ›

Airport scanners can detect food items, though they cannot detect whether those food items are edibles.

What is 710 upside down? ›

710 is now the unofficial designation for cannabis extracts solely because when you flip the 710 date upside down, it spells oil.

What does 420 mean for cops? ›

Some claim the number is drawn from the California criminal codes used to punish the use or distribution of marijuana. The state's 420 code actually applies to obstructing entry on public land.

What is Colorado Kush? ›

“Kush” is a popular slang term for cannabis, which was legalized for recreational use in Colorado in 2012. A cannabis store in Moffat, Colorado.

Where did 420 actually come from? ›

According to Time Magazine, 420 can be traced to 1971, when a group of five students at San Rafael High School in Marin County, California began meeting at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana. The actual numbers “420” don't have much symbolic significance, Time reported in 2016.

Who invented 420? ›

How did it start? It's widely believed that 420 owes its roots to five Californian high school students - Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz and Mark Gravich.

What does it mean to YEET? ›

Yeet is a slang word that functions broadly with the meaning “to throw,” but is especially used to emphasize forcefulness and a lack of concern for the thing being thrown. (You don't yeet something if you're worried that it might break.)

What does it mean to be 402 friendly? ›

What does 4/20 friendly mean? This is quite often seen on websites advertising for housemates, tennants or possibly dating apps. It simply means that the person or place is accepting of people who smoke weed and probably do themselves.

What does 420 mean in beer? ›

420: The Intersection of Beer and Cannabis.

How do you celebrate 710? ›

To celebrate 7/10 properly, simply consume your dab or concentrate of choice on July 10, optionally at 7:10 a.m. or p.m.

Where does 420 actually come from? ›

According to Time Magazine, 420 can be traced to 1971, when a group of five students at San Rafael High School in Marin County, California began meeting at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana. The actual numbers “420” don't have much symbolic significance, Time reported in 2016.

Is 420 celebrated in Amsterdam? ›

You can find 420 friendly places all over the planet, although you are always welcome to visit Amsterdam and enjoy an entire 420 cannabis friendly city with deep cannabis roots any day of the year!

Where does the day of 420 come from? ›

According to Chris Conrad, curator of the Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum in Oakland, California, 420 started as a secret code among high schoolers in the early 1970s. A group of friends at San Rafael High School in Marin County, California, who called themselves “the Waldos,” would often meet at 4:20 p.m. to get high.

Where did the holiday 420 originate? ›

in the 1970s when a group of teenagers from San Rafael High School in Marian County would ritualistically smoke marijuana at 4:20 each day. The number 420 became their code for marijuana. The five students called themselves the "Waldos," which referenced the wall they would sit on at their school.

Why is 710 the new 420? ›

710 refers to July 10, just as 420 refers to April 20. This date was chosen for the simple fact that, if you turn the number 710 upside down, you can read the word “oil”, a reference to cannabis concentrates. Just as 420 is the time to light a joint, 710 is the time to dab.

Can you walk around and smoke in Amsterdam? ›

It is not allowed to smoke in the public (you can get a fine, but usually just a reminder from the policeman), and it is not polite either to roam the streets, shops or restaurants while stoned. You can easily bump into a bike or a tram and die. If you have to, use the cannabis in the privacy of the coffeeshop.

Is 420 a thing in the UK? ›

Around the world, fans of Marijuana celebrate the green herb on this day – think of it as an unofficial holiday. Also known as 'weed day', 420 falls on the same day every year and one of the largest UK congregations of those marking it is in London.

Is 420 an international holiday? ›

April 20 has become an international counterculture holiday based on the celebration and consumption of cannabis. Events typically advocate for cannabis liberalization and legalization.


1. Coffeeshops in Amsterdam : Beginner smoker tips
2. 7 Places to go for 4/20: Vancouver Sunset Beach Park 2019
(Daily Hive)
3. Inside California's Premium Cannabis Trade Show, Hall of Flowers
4. Vancouver’s Marijuana Golden Age
(National Post)
5. Seth Rogen Is Cool With His Employees Smoking Weed at Work
(The Howard Stern Show)
6. How Berner Built Cookies To Stand Out In The Cannabis Industry | Forbes
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Last Updated: 12/31/2022

Views: 5880

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Birthday: 1998-02-19

Address: 64841 Delmar Isle, North Wiley, OR 74073

Phone: +17844167847676

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: LARPing, Kitesurfing, Sewing, Digital arts, Sand art, Gardening, Dance

Introduction: My name is Amb. Frankie Simonis, I am a hilarious, enchanting, energetic, cooperative, innocent, cute, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.