There are plenty of 4/20 events going down this week and throughout the rest of April, but not many are addressing the cannabis industry holiday and ongoing the climate crisis like 420PPM.
On April 20, the 420PPM event will be held in Venice, California. PPM stands for parts per million, and during the month of April, the Earth’s atmospheric carbon concentration ppm will reach 420 for the first time ever. In 2021, atmospheric carbon peaked at 419 ppm, and 10 years ago, it was recorded at 395.06, according to event’s Instagram. Overall, the carbon dioxide concentration increases annually by about 2.5 ppm.
According to event organizer, Pete Deneen, 420PPM wants to bring attention and awareness of these facts. “The 420 numeral holds a high place in cannabis culture. Breaching the 420 ppm milestone creates this one-time convergence of climate and cannabis where we can activate a space for people to channel the positive energy of the cannabis community into climate action, particularly with regard to the increasingly overwhelming choices facing cannabis consumers.”
Described as a “420 panel-and-workshop-by-day and party-by-night,” there is much to experience. According to a press release, it is “an event centered around the convergence of the climate crisis and cannabis holiday seeks to channel the pro-environmental values of cannabis consumers into direct action, inviting party-goers to an inspiring afternoon-to-evening of conversation of climate solutions and intentional cannabis consumption.”
420PPM is inviting numerous speakers to attend, such as “climate scientists, regenerative cannabis farmers, intersectional environmentalists, musicians, filmmakers, artists, and futurists,” and will be hosted at the Hopper Compound, which is the former home of the late actor Dennis Hopper.
To kick things off, panelists will discuss the climate crisis, and how regenerative cannabis plays an important role in preserving our planet’s future. This includes Tina Gordon (founder of Moon Made Farms), Stephen Smith (found of Onda Wellness), Heather Dunbar (director of marketing and communications for Sun+Earth), Aura Vasquez (community organizer), Chelsea Sutula (founder of Sespe Creek Collective), Mary Carreon (drug + culture journalist), Daniel Stein (owner of Briceland Forest Farm), and Lynne Lyman (former director of California State Drug Policy Alliance).
After this, attendees are invited to join a Highlites yoga session and meditation (it’s BYOM—bring your own mat).
Beside the wealth of panelist knowledge and experience to learn from, the event will also show a preview screening of a documentary called Tending the Garden. Created by filmmakers La Osa (Claire Weissbluth) & Jesse Dodd, creator of Biovortex, the film explores the lives of three family cannabis farms—Green Source Gardens, Briceland Forest Farm, and Radicle Herbs—and the overall goal to promote a future that is both profitable, embraces regenerative farming, and puts a spotlight on the farmers of the community.
Further panel discussions will resume, with “a conversation on the future of cannabis and its climate impact.”
The “party-by-night” portion of the event begins after the conclusion of the panel discussion, with live performances by Leah Free and Oliwa.
Regenerative farming is an agricultural technique that uses specific plants to improve soil health. Cover crops, residue mulching, composting, and crop rotation are just a few ways that this is accomplished. This type of farming ultimately can help reduce climate change, but in relation to cannabis, is said to improve flavor and bud structure as well.
Countless cannabis farms have embraced this approach to growing. Most recently, a limited-time Airbnb listing for a rentable residence on a cannabis farm hopes to help guests see and enjoy “regenerative recreation.” Airbnb is making a donation to the Regeneration International organization in partnership with the rental home.
4/20: That sacred number, both the time of day and the date — today! — has some serious cultural significance :-} .
420 also has another more serious import: the current parts per million of atmospheric carbon, driving climate change and global heating, is grazing up against an all-time ‘high’ of 420 ppm this year. This convergence needs to diverge. So . . .
It’s time to ‘chill’ — with herb, for the 420 afficionados — and with renewable energy, energy conservation, technology and lifestyle changes, and perhaps some rationing (air-miles, anyone?) for the climate afficionados.
(Full disclosure: I’m both.)
How can the connoisseurs and champions of cannabis help cool the climate? The CO2 and methane content of the planet’s atmosphere will, sadly, continue to rise for some time to come. How far and how fast will be determined by the way we do stuff every day.
One idea: Showing one’s public transportation pass or ‘tap’ card at the dispensary should be good for 10% off (or the %-age of choice) select purchases — on 4/20 for sure, but also any time.
Next year, herb enthusiasts should be prepared to enjoy ‘tea time’ one or two minutes later at 4:21 or 4:22 pm to stay connected to the onward and upward march of the Keeling Curve and its ongoing metric for climate change and global heating. And even later in the following years.
But maybe, if we’re good enough at cooling the Earth, we will some day toke up at 4:19 in the afternoon … and a year or two later, at 4:18 … and, well, you can see the cool green places we and our world will — we can hope — go.
From Gregory Wright in Sherman Oaks, California