Maryland dispensaries brace for a ‘very busy’ 4/20

Saturday is April 20, which is something of a holiday for marijuana enthusiasts — and it marks the first 4/20 in Maryland since the state launched its recreational marijuana market last July.

Stores that are licensed to sell recreational pot are bracing for heavy foot traffic.

“I think they’re going to be very busy,” said Wendy Bronfein, co-founder and chief brand officer with Curio Wellness, which sells cannabis products to dispensaries in Maryland.

Many stores are trying to make it a more interesting retail experience by offering special deals, giveaways or access to products that customers normally might not see.

“This is akin to a Black Friday or Cyber Monday,” Bronfein said. “There’s a celebration element and there’s a promotional element.”

Bronfein’s business has been working with dispensaries to help them stock up and build their inventory ahead of 4/20.

“I think that most people who work in the cannabis industry on 4/21 are going to feel like accountants felt on 4/16,” Bronfein said with a smile, referring to the rush accountants experience during tax season.

“I also think the fact that it’s a Saturday adds another level,” Bronfein said. “There’s a lot of easy access to shopping on a weekend versus if it just fell on a Tuesday.”

Another factor that will likely fuel extra traffic in Maryland stores is the fact that recreational cannabis isn’t legally sold in any of Maryland’s neighboring states.

Voters in D.C. approved recreational cannabis, but Congress blocked the city from creating a legalized market.

In Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently vetoed a bill that would have allowed recreational retail sales of marijuana to begin next year in that state.

In 2021, Virginia became the first Southern state to legalize marijuana, adopting a policy change that allowed adults age 21 and up to possess and cultivate the drug. The state didn’t set up retail sales at the time and still hasn’t, due to shifts in partisan power and policy differences since then.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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