News

Marijuana Goes Mainstream: Here’s How Major Brands Are Celebrating 420

ben & jerry's van

* April 20 is the “stoner holiday”
* Major brands are pushing the theme on social media
* Not just Ben & Jerry’s — Chipotle, Burger King and Pepsi are in on the action

As progressive marijuana laws spread across the nation, brands are using 4/20 — the pot holiday — to boost their marketing, reports the Washington Post.

Ben & Jerry’s has long embraced cannabis culture with ice cream flavors like “Half Baked,” “Phish Food,” and “Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies.” Lagunitas brewery, which is partially owned by Heineken, is resurrecting it’s Waldos’ Ale. The beer is named for the group of high school friends who originally coined the term “420” as a code word for getting high.

“[It’s] one of our best selling beers,” says spokeswoman Karen Hamilton. Regarding marijuana references in brew names, she says it’s “just something that we’ve always done, and it’s not only on April 20.”

While it may be no shock that Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s and NoCal’s Lagunitas embrace the trend, it’s notable that mainstream companies like Chipotle, Carl’s Jr., Totinos, Burger King and even Pepsi are hopping on the potwagon with Tweets like these:

While the allusions are obvious to anyone in the know, the brands are still playing coy when it comes to marketing on the back of the stoner holiday. The indirect references keep them from going too far.

“We’re really known for our tongue-in-cheek humor but it’s pretty coincidental that it’s coming out on the 20th. That’s the official line,” says Ben & Jerry’s spokeswoman Lindsay Bumps. “We try to get almost to that line, but we never really cross that line.”

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