The history of 420 is hazy as nobody seems to know the actual origin. Some believe it to originate from a police code for “marijuana smoking in progress,” others think it references Hitler’s birthday or is the number of active chemicals in marijuana. None are correct and the truth isn’t as interesting, but that does not stop people from celebrating “Weed Day” each year on April 20. 

Although King Cronic, the local pot shop in Yelm, didn’t open until 9 a.m. this past 420 Day, employee Nikita Davis had been running around getting ready for the day at 8:30 a.m. There had been a line for most of the day. By the time the golden hour of 4:20 p.m. arrived the shop was full.

With deals ranging from $40 ounces, to $3 cookies to 25 percent off of virtually everything for their favorite holiday, the customers were quite pleased.

“There are lots of people coming in and lots of happy people leaving,” manager Tim Cronk Jr. said. 

The day was not quite what Cronk Jr. was expecting. By 4:15 p.m. the servers had so much traffic that they crashed for the second time that day. By 4:25 p.m. the employees were informed that the entire Green Bits software system was down. During the busiest time of day King Cronic employees were taking down everything by hand. 

“We were expecting a smooth day,” Cronk Jr. said, but of course for King Cronic’s first 420 in Yelm, something had to happen. 

Although the crash created an extra hassle for employees, it also created a moment to slow down and stand still while everything was being sorted out.

“It’s nice to stop and take a break,” Davis said. “It’s been a busy day.”

The system was down for about 45 minutes. During that time the employees had to write down the products sold, their stocking number, the price, and then factor in any discounts. 

“It was chaos,” said employee Wesley Cronk.

At the end of the day the employees had to go back and run everything written down through the system. 

Anyone with the munchies, or just walking along and happened to smell the hot dogs, could stop by the old Subway building a few doors down from King Cronic where Steven Hautajarvi had been cooking since noon.

Lined up inside the building were hot dogs, bags of chips, cookies, soda and macaroni with shrimp among others. Everything was free and everyone was welcome. He even made hamburgers for the King Cronic employees, knowing they’d be on their feet all day working up an appetite. 

“I just wanted to do this,” Hautajarvi said. “I wanted to do something nice. They don’t get a break.”

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