420 Is Now Canceled in Denver, Thanks to Coronavirus
Even though one of the world’s largest cannabis celebrations is a month away, Denver officials and event organizers aren’t taking any chances amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Published on March 18, 2020

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The coronavirus just canceled 4/20 in the Mile High City.

On Monday, organizers for Denver’s FlyHi 420 Festival announced that the epic April 20th celebration would be nixed on account of the novel coronavirus pandemic. As of this writing, Colorado has reported 186 confirmed cases of the virus and at least two deaths. No confirmed cases in the state have yet recovered from the illness.

“The health and safety of our performers and attendees is the top priority. FlyHi will follow the City of Denver’s guidelines to reduce unnecessary public interaction,” the event’s website read. “There are no immediate plans to reschedule as this virus continues to circulate.”

Had the event gone on as planned, rapper Lil Jon would’ve headlined while a massive crowd  — composed of cannabis-loving folks from around the country and the world — blazed up, in public, at exactly 4:20pm. Last year, Denver’s 420 festival brought an estimated 75,000 people to Civic Center Park, located downtown between the state capitol building and a city courthouse.

Over the weekend, Governor Jared Polis requested that all events expecting 250 or more people close down to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Then, earlier this week, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) took that suggested ban a step further and advised that every state clamp down on any gatherings of 50 or more people. The suggestions have led to the closures, cancelations, and postponements of thousands of planned events across the Centennial State and elsewhere.

State officials asked all bars, nightclubs, and restaurants to close. In Denver, all restaurants may continue operating so long as they switch to delivery-only or take-out-only services. 

Furthermore, several state agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles offices, will remain closed until further notice. Denver and Aurora police also announced they would not send officers to investigate low-level crimes, especially if the crimes are no longer in progress. And for better or worse, most of Colorado’s pot shops have stayed open so locals can stock up on weed. 

Denver isn’t the only city to cancel its much anticipated 4/20 plans. Other major metropolitan areas such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Portland have also likely canceled their 420 celebrations as they impose shelter-in-place and other social distancing policies to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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