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Where to enjoy 420 in SF: A guide to cannabis celebrations in the city and beyond

A man in a cannabis-patterned suit is standing with arms raised in a crowd under a clear sky.
Hippie Hill on April 20, 2018. | Justin Sullivan via Getty | Source: Justin Sullivan via Getty

After two years of virtual sessions and socially distanced smokeouts, local cannabis lovers once again have their pick of potentially crowded 420 parties. Here’s a rundown of some of your best bets for making merry with Mary Jane in San Francisco and beyond.

420 at Hippie Hill

Robin Williams Meadow, Golden Gate Park
10 a.m. | Free, 21+

In many ways the quintessential San Francisco 420 experience, this gathering at Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park has been sparking up for decades. But this year, for the first time ever, the Hippie Hill party is set to feature licensed vendors selling legal recreational bud (provided event organizers can secure the proper permits in time). Live entertainment comes in the form of an eclectic, stoner-approved lineup. Boxer-cum-ganjapreneur Mike Tyson is the main event, with additional appearances by rapper and Cookies founder, Berner, plus comedians Jeff Ross and Hannibal Burress. It’s a free event, and the only document you’ll need to enter is a valid ID showing that you’re 21 or older, so expect massive crowds and be aware that arriving anytime close to 4:20 p.m. is likely to result in a bummer.

420 Festival

Liberation Park, 6955 Foothill Blvd, Oakland
12 p.m. | Free, 18+

If the city-sanctioned Hippie Hill event sounds a little too intense, you may be able to find a slightly mellower vibe on the other side of the Bay Bridge. Set to take place at Liberation Park, 420 Festival may not have the star-power of its San Francisco counterpart, but they’ve still got a diverse selection of activities on tap for the day. They include a ‘puff and paint’ station, a skating rink, and food for sale from more than 15 vendors. The event’s organizers are advertising vegan options and on-site skate rentals starting at $5, plus even more programming—including live music and a film screening—TBA.

Andre Nickatina’s 420 Bash

HopMonk Tavern, 224 Vintage Way, Novato
9 p.m. | $32+

Here at The Standard, we like to keep a tight focus on the city. Occasionally we will direct you to a BART-able adventure in the East Bay. And yet, we felt we’d be remiss if we didn’t flag this 420 fête. The origins of the holiday lie in Marin County, after all. Plus, the Fillmore District’s very own Andre Nickatina has been “smoking weed like it’s legal” since long before the passage of Prop. 64. Dre Dog will be joined by rapper and DJ Mike G of the Odd Future collective and Atlanta’s Racci. For those seeking a tasty smoke-and-suds terpine pairing, HopMonk’s IPA boasts a citrus-forward terpene profile that should pair beautifully with a strain like Tangie. That said, always remember to experiment responsibly and beware of the cross fade!

The Sesh ft. Berner & Too Short

The Midway, 900 Marin St.
7 p.m. | $59-$150, 21+

Following his duties at Hippie Hill, Berner is scheduled to head over to the Midway, where he will be joined by Bay Area hip-hop legend Too Short. Together, they’ll serve as the headliners for what’s billed as a night of music and high spirits intended to keep the party going long after the clock strikes 4:20 p.m.

Nikesh Patel & Malcom Mirage: In Conversation

Manny’s, 3092 16th Street
6 p.m. | $5 (Zoom), $12 (In Person)

Enjoying 420 as a purely celebratory occasion is perfectly fine, but for any who wish to better understand exactly how the industry works, don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear two local experts converse on the subject. Uniting newly appointed SF Office of Cannabis Director Nikesh Patel with Mirage Medicinal dispenser owner Malcom Weitz, ticketholders can look forward to a conversation that promises to coverthe good, the bad, and the ugly” as it relates to legal cannabis at the local and statewide level. For those unable to attend in person, the event will also be available to stream live via Zoom.

‘The Big Lebowski’

Balboa Theater, 3630 Balboa St.
4:20 p.m. | $15

Not inclined to make a big effort to mark the day but still down to have a little fun? Keep it simple and succumb to the warm embrace of a beloved stoner comedy projected on the big screen. This year, the Balboa is holding down with a 4:20 p.m. showing of the Coen Brothers’ nihilistic bowling masterpiece. Throw on your best bathrobe, grab a big bag of popcorn, and settle in for two hours of THC in visual form.

420 DJ Dance Party

BASA, 1326 Grove St., San Francisco
2-4 p.m. | Free, 21+

Sometimes finding your 420 plans is as simple as stopping by your neighborhood dispensary. And if that neighborhood happens to be San Francisco’s Western Addition, consider yourself invited to a dance party hosted by BASA. With roots that stretch all the way back to 2003 (which is basically a millennium in legal pot years), this is a shop that knows what 420 is all about. This year, they’ve partnered with pre-roll brand The Pairist to throw a DJ-led dance party in the hours leading up to 4:20 p.m. Stop by to stock up on your celebratory party favors of choice, shake a leg and support a local business all in one fell swoop.

House Godz: 420 Edition

The Record Bar, 163 Eddy St., San Francisco
8 p.m. | Free until 11:30 p.m.; , $10 after; 21+

Just because the drum circles have dissipated doesn’t mean the dance party needs to end. For a subwoofer-centric nightcap, grab a ticket for the 420 edition of Record Bar’s House Godz. Starting at 8 p.m. but lasting until 2 a.m., look forward to a lineup that includes local San Francisco underground house artists Lisa Rose, Miss Liv, Robert Raya, Foolie and Kenny Cordeiro.

Johnny Roof and the Hot Tin Twins

North Beach Pipeline, 1335 Grant Ave., San Francisco
4:20-7pm | Free, 21+

If you haven’t yet seen North Beach’s newest dispensary, consider 420 your chance to change that. Located on a scenic block of Grant Avenue, the store is a split venture that finds renowned local artist Jeremy Fish occupying the studio space next door. On April 20, a free T-shirt designed by Fish will be provided to any shoppers who spend at least $100. All are also invited to a performance by Grateful Dead cover band Johnny Roof and the Hot Tin Twins, presented in partnership with bar, venue, and Pipeline neighbors Tupelo.