A Weed Company Just Made 420 a Paid Holiday For Its Employees
It’s an expensive call, but we’re sure it’s the right one.
Published on March 17, 2023

Despite it being what the company calls “one of our most profitable days,” Massachusetts medical and recreational dispensary chain Temescal Wellness has declared 4/20 an official holiday for its employees. 

We’re pretty sure that this makes Temescal the first major company to do so (though we would not be surprised if some mobile grilled cheese sandwich operation beat them to the punch back in the day).

“4/20 is a day to show appreciation, love and respect for cannabis and its power to help amplify the health and happiness that people experience in their daily lives,” Temescal Wellness’s Director of Retail and Customer Engagement Sian Leininger said in a press statement. “For us, it’s a day to celebrate our employees, whose passion, knowledge and true dedication inspires their unparalleled service to our customers and our community all of the other days of the year.”

Of course, in the cannabis industry, 4/20 also a day to bank coin. On 4/20 last year, Massachusetts adult-use sales topped $6 million worth of recreational weed, according to a 2022 report from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission. That’s $1 million more than consumers copped on 4/20 in 2021 in the state.

The same report found that adult-use sales exceeded $3 billion within four years of legalizing recreational cannabis in the state, and that the state’s 6.25% sales tax brought $112.4 million to its government coffers in 2021.

Indeed, Massachusetts is so pleased with its burgeoning bud industry its weed companies are, as of 2022, allowed to write off business-related expenses on their state taxes. However, deducting most cannabis business expenses is very much illegal under federal law, mind you.

So, why (besides media attention—and you’re welcome, Temescal Wellness) would a cannabis shop choose to miss out on these easy green dollars?

"One of our core company values is wellness - and that means the wellness of our customers, our community, and our entire team," Leininger said. "While 4/20 is one of our most profitable days, we hope making it a paid holiday off for our team elevates it as a day for everyone to celebrate cannabis and the community around it."

None of this is to say that you can’t patronize the establishment before or after the holidaze. Temescal Wellness is hyping its April-only weed discounts, available at any of its three locations in the towns of Framingham, Hudson, and Pittsfield.

Of course, such a feel-good interpretation of 4/20 would likely come as news to its originators, reportedly a pack of high school stoners who attended California’s San Rafael High School. The Waldos, as they referred to themselves, linked up one day at 4:20pm to embark on a weed-fueled treasure hunt and soon began employing the term “420” to indicate that it was time to get high. Their extended social circle was intertwined with the stoner-heavy networks of The Grateful Dead, and it wasn’t long before the code word was adopted by armies of the band’s followers.

Cover image via

Caitlin Donohue
Caitlin Donohue is a Bay Area-raised, Mexico City-based cannabis writer and author of She Represents: 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics and the World. Her weekly show Crónica on Radio Nopal explores Mexican marijuana culture and politics in the prohibition era. Follow Caitlin on IG @byrdwatch.
Share this article with your friends!
By using our site you agree to our use of cookies to deliver a better experience.