A group of high school friends in San Rafael, Calif., coined the term 420 in the early 1970s. According to Time magazine, they were athletes and, once school and practice were done for the day at about 4:20 p.m., they’d meet for a daily adventure. Often that adventure would be the hunt for a rumoured outdoor grow of cannabis, somewhere in the forests near Point Reyes Peninsula.

From there, the group of friends spread the idea of 420 to members and fans of the band The Grateful Dead and High Times magazine. Slowly, the time – and soon after the day – crept to all corners of the globe and became synonymous with cannabis culture.

Today, we mark 420 as a celebration of how far acceptance of cannabis as a medical option has come.

In 1923, cannabis was added to the Schedule of the Opium and Narcotic Control Act, making it illegal for Canadians to possess or use and it wasn’t until the year 2000 that the courts ruled Canadians have a constitutional right to use cannabis as a medicine.

A year later, Canadian Medical Marijuana Access Regulations granted legal access for some individuals for illness. In 2013, the federal government introduced Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, the precursor to the current Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, which provided safe, legal and regulated medical cannabis access to patients.

Since then, tens of thousands of patients across Canada have sought relief through medical cannabis provided by licenced producers like Tilray. At Tilray, we’re committed to providing not only medical cannabis in our GMP-certified facility in Nanaimo, B.C., but also supporting research, such as the PTSD study through UBC, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting study at University of New South Wales in Australia, and childhood epilepsy trial through Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.

Today, on April 20, we’re celebrating the movement to provide access to cannabis for medical purposes to all Canadians.