With recreational marijuana now legal, 4/20 looked much different in Missouri

Events celebrating cannabis culture continue throughout the weekend and all across the state

By: - April 21, 2023 10:05 am

St. Louis couple Jerry and Lisa Thomas listen closely to the instructions for caring for the two marijuana plants Chris Price, associate for the Trimmer Store, gifted them on Thursday, April 20, 2023 in St. Louis (Rebecca Rivas/Missouri Independent).

Lisa Thomas wandered into an outdoor market celebrating 4/20 on Cherokee Street in St. Louis — and ended up with her very first marijuana plant.

Actually two of them. 

“I’m so excited,” she said. “I’ve never had a plant.”

She and her husband Jerry had been passing by a tent showcasing trimming equipment for marijuana plants, and they were offered two free plants. A sales associate sent her home with his handwritten instructions on how to care for them, free bags of specialized soil and even offered her free grow lights. 

She started to hand Jerry one of the plants, but he said, “I ain’t walking down the street with that.”

“It’s legal now,” she said laughing. “We’re in this together.” 

April 20, a day recognized globally for celebrating cannabis culture, looked a lot different in Missouri this year, with recreational use of marijuana now legal. 

While the Thomas’ were perusing the market outside, a group of women dressed in big hats and fancy gloves were having a private cannabis tea party in the Cola Private Lounge next door. 

Later that day and down the block, there was a blaze n’ ballroom dancing class, elevated yoga, puff pass n’ painting class and then DJ sets and a drag performance.

“This is celebrating the entirety and the authenticity of cannabis culture,” said Brennan England, who organized the Green Light District Cannabis Crawl that goes on through Saturday. “That’s more dynamic than just celebrating dispensaries or just celebrating legalization.”

While Thursday was the official day of 4/20, the celebration continues throughout the weekend with events scheduled all across Missouri.

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Rebecca Rivas
Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas is a multimedia reporter who covers Missouri's cannabis industry. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she has been reporting in Missouri since 2001, including more than a decade as senior reporter and video producer at the St. Louis American, the nation’s leading African-American newspaper.