Here's what's going on in Vancouver for 4/20

Apr 20 2023, 3:45 pm

The days are getting longer, the blunts are getting rolled, and right after Easter, many cannabis aficionados are getting ready for their own high holiday — 4/20, of course.

The day is a popular one in Vancouver, with various events and cannabis markets typically drawing large crowds to mark the day. It started as a protest and push to decriminalize cannabis, which was legalized in Canada in 2018.

There are several events happening around the city for those who want to partake.

United in the Park at Thornton Park

420 vancouver

420 Vancouver

This event at Main and Terminal bills itself as the “official” 4/20 event, with support from some of Vancouver’s original 4/20 protest organizers. It will feature performances, a farmers’ market, and an after-party featuring Afroman. Dana Larsen, who spent years organizing 4/20 demonstrations pre-legalization, will attend this one — and he’s looking forward to the 65-pound joint that could set a world record.

Sunset Beach

A new group of organizers with World Cannabis Events are bringing back the 4/20 celebrations at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach. This used to be Vancouver’s main 4/20 event, but it stopped due to crowd restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The past few years have been a test of resilience; but we have persevered. Now, it’s time to come together and make our voices heard, while also basking in the glory of Canadian cannabis culture,” Brynn Jones, communion director with World Cannabis Events, said in a news release.

Park Board to close Sunset Beach bathrooms during event

The Vancouver Park Board, which has been staunchly opposed to the unsanctioned 4/20 events on park land over the years, tells Daily Hive it’s closing the Sunset Beach bathrooms, concession stand, parking lot, and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre all day on April 20.

“We are acting out of an abundance of caution and closing nearby facilities to ensure staff and public safety and support the neighbouring community,” a Park Board spokesperson said.

In a map of the planned event, World Cannabis Events indicates it will have porta-potties set up next to the food trucks on the rainbow-painted section of the parking lot.

world cannabis

World Cannabis


The Park Board has not permitted the Sunset Beach event because organizers failed to meet requirements including liability insurance, permit fees, adequate ground protection, and traffic management plans. The spokesperson added the Park Board respects their Charter-protected right to protest, and is closing amenities to “protect park assets.”

The Park Board has not been in communication with the Thornton Park organizers.

Const. Tania Visintin with the Vancouver Police Department said officers will be out to ensure safety and mitigate disruptions caused by the 4/20 gatherings.

“This is one of 800-plus protests and marches that are likely to happen in Vancouver this year, and while it has drawn large crowds in the past there’s rarely any violence associated with it. We expect to have extra resources assigned, as we would with any significant protests or gathering.”

If you’re the type of Vancouverite who celebrates 4/20 more in a more low-key way than a big festival, you could always get cannabis delivered via Uber Eats — the company launched a new cannabis delivery service in BC ahead of the weed-centred day.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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