Materials & Use

What is “420-Friendly”: What Does it Mean?

Gabi Antunes

Sep 15, 2019

The term “420” has become a standard part of cannabis jargon, and the phrase “420-friendly” is just steps behind it in prevalence. As more states legalize cannabis for adult-use, its consumption has begun to move out of the shadows. With the continued destigmatizing of cannabis use, encountering the phrase “420-friendly” in all sorts of settings is becoming more commonplace than ever.

The achievements of the cannabis legalization movement have spurred all sorts of groups and spaces to explicitly state their 420 preferences. However, just because the phrase “420-friendly” is becoming more common by the day doesn’t mean that cannabis lovers perfectly understand what it does and doesn’t mean.

It’s important to understand the term “420-friendly” before interacting with people or heading into spaces that have described themselves as such. Get to know the term “420-friendly” here.

What does “420-friendly” mean?

A 420-friendly designation means that consuming cannabis is OK in this space, at this event, or with this group of people. However, it doesn’t mean that every consumption method is OK – or that you’ll have someone who wants to consume cannabis with you.

All 420-friendly spaces will allow you to consume cannabis products, and other “420-friendly” people in attendance can approve of your cannabis use without joining in. A 420-friendly designation means that you can enjoy your cannabis without fear of any interference or penalty, but you should explicitly ask whether you’ll have other people joining on your cannabis use. If not, then in some situations, you can bring a friend.

Additionally, “420-friendly” doesn’t necessarily mean “smoke friendly.” Some 420-friendly spaces are cool with vaping, but not combusting materials in a joint or pipe, since vapor is less pungent than smoke. Alternatively, some 420-friendly people or spaces might only permit certain types of consumption if the group is not yet accustomed to vaping. These 420-friendly spaces might also have rules on edibles, concentrates, and other types of cannabis products. If you don’t know, just ask.

Where did the term “420-friendly” come from?

With the term “420” becoming so prevalent in both cannabis and mainstream culture, it was only a matter of time before “420-friendly” emerged. With housing listings including descriptors such as “queer-friendly,” “pet-friendly,” and more, it didn’t take long for people to realize that cannabis use can play a big role in finding roommates and places to live. This is especially true for folks who are bothered — or not bothered — by the smell of cannabis. Plus, with cannabis increasingly legalized and destigmatized, more people have become aware of its presence in everyday life.

Where will you see the 420-friendly Label?

You might encounter “420-friendly” on dating profiles, hotel or apartment rental listings, event pages, or tour groups. The “420-friendly” is a term you’re far more likely to see in writing rather than hear in speech.

On dating profiles, for example, you might encounter “420-friendly” among the hodgepodge of interests, hobbies, or personality traits that someone might list. Sometimes, the person will be explicit about whether they consume cannabis or do not mind being around cannabis products. It is not safe to assume that a 420-friendly dating profile belongs to someone whose passion for cannabis is as strong as yours may be, but do consider putting “420-friendly” on your dating profile if you are in a legal cannabis market and being explicit about what that means to you.

In apartment listings, “420-friendly” indicates that you can consume cannabis in your new home, just as it does in hotel listings. A 420-friendly distinction can be crucial if you’re looking for new roommates or a good vacation spot so that you avoid any potential disagreements or running afoul of the rules of a particular locale. You’ll still need to figure out what kinds of cannabis are allowed in the home. For example, some places may not allow combustion but may allow vaping.

Event pages and tour groups can be especially 420-friendly, with some events and groups geared specifically to cannabis lovers. Cannabis may be especially abundant in these settings, and you’ll likely make some new friends who share your interest in cannabis products.

Occasionally, 420-friendly spaces and people will share cannabis and devices with you. For example, if you’re traveling, some hosts will leave you a “420 box” with pipes, papers, grinders, or other supplies needed to consume cannabis.

What are the most 420-friendly places in the U.S.?

The 420-friendliest places in the U.S. are states in which cannabis is legal. The longer the state has had legal cannabis, the 420-friendlier it likely is. Denver, for example, is one of the most 420-friendliest locales in the U.S. Denver has no shortage of dispensaries full of exciting cannabis products, and sales in this capital city continue to break records year over year.

In general, the West Coast is the “420-friendliest” region in the U.S. besides Denver. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland are just a few examples of the remarkably 420-friendly cities along the Pacific Coast. These cities are all located in states with legal cannabis programs. Washington State legalized cannabis for adult-use in 2012, while Oregon legalized cannabis for adult-use in 2014 and California legalized cannabis for adult-use in 2016. All three states maintained medical marijuana programs before allowing adult-use programs.

Before you board a plane, book a vacation, or head out to that festival, make sure to know whether your destination is 420-friendly and what exactly that means. Adhering to the rules of a group or location is a great way to be a respectful and responsible cannabis consumer. If your destination is not 420-friendly, save your cannabis for another time.