In the age of marijuana legalization, everyone from athletes to media moguls alike have been working to destigmatize the cannabis plant. Among those making strides in expanding the image of cannabis is The 420 Games — North America's only events company that spotlights the complementary duo that is cannabis and athleticism. Since its inception in San Francisco in 2014, The 420 Games have attracted more than 20,000 cannathletes, underscoring how cannabis can be used to support health and sports recovery for those engaging in high-level physical activity.
That’s why we’re delighted to make The 420 Games part of the Civilized brand.
Today, Civilized announced plans to acquire The 420 Games, a move that will give the Canadian-founded company more traction, especially in California, which is the fastest growing legal cannabis market in the world. In light of the news, Civilized is making plans to scale The 420 Games across North America in early 2019.
The games have already taken place in Los Angeles, San Diego, Lake Tahoe, Denver, Boulder, Portland, Seattle, and Pittsburgh, and have included renowned athletes like NFL star Ricky Williams, basketball player Al Harrington, pro skateboarder and X Games gold medalist Bucky Lasek, and UFC greats Frank Shamrock and Bas Rutten.
In working to destigmatize cannabis, Civilized's content appeals to a wide audience, including cannabis consumers and the cannabis curious, many of whom are cannathletes, according to publisher Derek Riedle. "By combining the bench strength of our event experts with The 420 Games’ established brand and significant following, we can work together to change perceptions and reduce stigma by showcasing cannabis’s role in active, productive lifestyles."
Jim McAlpine - Founder and Executive Director of The 420 Games - says he started the company in order to erase prevalent, yet untrue stereotypes about so-called lazy cannabis consumers. "Our participants are not only active in their athletic pursuits, but in their communities and their approach to health and wellness," he said. "Civilized is creating a movement and leading cannabis culture into the mainstream. Our missions are completely aligned and the synergy of the two brands is undeniable."
With the acquisition, McAlpine will become an employee of Civilized and remain active in managing the event and growing the "cannathlete" movement. For many athletes, cannabis has been a healthier alternative to opioid painkillers, has been beneficial especially to football players in treating brain injuries, and can even enhance the act and feeling of exercise itself in activities like jogging or yoga.
"What I'd like to see The 420 Games evolve into is something that anybody can come to or take part in," McAlpine told Civilized. "Up until now, we've had high level athletes, [but] with Civilized, I want to create brand and movement that inspires people who aren't athletes to get up off the couch and start moving." For athletes, The 420 Games helps them come out of the cannabis closet, he says, while the average person may be inspired to engage in a lifestyle bridging fitness and cannabis.