By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor,

Legend has it “420” (4:20 or 4/20) became notorious in the marijuana community after 1971, when five students at San Rafael High School in California would meet at 4:20 p.m. by a statue of chemist Louis Pasteur to puff a little weed. They’re code was “420,” and since then, 4:20 has been known as the perfect time for weed smokers to partake and 4/20 has been an unofficial stoner holiday.  Almost 50 years since those five teens were sneaking away for afternoon smoke sessions, on April 20, lawmakers, activists, entrepreneurs, performers and marijuana enthusiasts are gathering for the fourth annual National Cannabis Festival at RFK Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium, 2400 E Capitol St S.E., Washington, DC 20003.

The National Cannabis Festival, known for mixing entertainment with important policy discussions surrounding marijuana, is bringing a star-studded lineup of performers, weedpreneurs and advocates for their 2019 programming.

The fourth annual National Cannabis Festival will take place on April 20 at the RFK Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium in Southeast, Washington, D.C. (Courtesy Photo)

“We’re excited to continue our tradition of celebrating the accomplishments and highlighting the challenges still facing cannabis activists around the country,” said Founder and Executive Director of the National Cannabis Festival Caroline Phillips, according to a press release sent to the AFRO.

On April 19, the second annual National Cannabis Policy Summit will be held at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., with programming from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Registration for this event is free and can be done online at

The April 20 concert will feature major musical guests including headliners, Ludacris and Action Bronson, with additional performances from Backyard Band, Stykers Posse, Black Masala and DJ Farrah Flossett.

In addition to the musical acts, the festival will also have four educational pavilions, which focuses on “the intersection of cannabis policy and culture, hemp and CBD, health and wellness and cannabis cultivation,” according to the press release.  This intersectional education will allow festival attendees to discuss the benefits of cannabis, speak with medical professionals, chat with dispensary owners, purchase cannabis accessories and even enjoy free yoga sessions.

This year, the National Cannabis Festival will also offer a special Veterans Program with an onsite lounge sponsored by The King Weedy Collective, a local non-profit and hosted by Jose Belen, an Army veteran and founder of Florida Mission Zero.  With the Veterans Program, veterans, reservists and active duty military will get free and discounted tickets to attend the National Cannabis Festival.

From previous years, Phillips forecasts that guests will leave the festival entertained and educated.

“Not only do our attendees have a great time listening to music and meeting our exhibitors, but we hope that they leave having learned something new about cannabis policy, criminal justice reform and how they can be active advocates in their own communities.”

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor