A Project for Better Journalism chapter
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Legal marijuana market facing difficulty

Virtual parties and video chats replaced outdoor smoking sessions to mark the rise of legalization and celebrate cannabis culture on the weekend leading up to 4/20. The origins of the annual celebration are believed tied to a group of Northern California high school friends, who used the code as slang for smoking pot in the early 1970s. For marijuana businesses, 4/20 is usually their once-a-year Black Friday, when sales soar. Instead, they are reporting up-and-down buying and pondering an uncertain future. During the COVID-19 shutdown, many are spending less or going to underground markets to purchase.