What’s the deal with Cafe 420 in downtown Gatlinburg?

Cafe 420 is a fairly recent addition to Downtown Gatlinburg (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

Cafe 420 is a fairly recent addition to Downtown Gatlinburg (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)


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Editor’s Note: You must be at least 18 years old to read this article. By continuing, you are confirming that you are of legal age.

If it’s been a while since your last trip to Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, you may have noticed several surprising additions to the Parkway landscape.

While there’s always a certain level of expectation when it comes to new restaurants and attractions, something a bit more unexpected has been catching visitors’ eyes as of late: The addition of several stores freely advertising that familiar 7-pointed leaf luring in a different kind of audience. Namely, Cafe 420.

Which leaves one asking several poignant questions: When did that happen? Is that even legal here? What are they selling? Why is this article so vague? (More on that later.)

Below, we answer your most frequently asked questions about Cafe 420 and other stores like it and how they came to be in downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

1. How is this legal?

Cafe 420 and stores like it started cropping up in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg in 2018.

Thanks to the Farm Act of 2018 certain, let’s call them leaf-adjacent products or “industrial” products, are now legal for consumption in the state of Tennessee for individuals age 18 and over.

Without getting too deep into the science jargon, it mostly comes down to the allowable percentages of of the psychoactive parts and properties of the plant and how the synthetic versions of those parts are manufactured.

To be blunt (get it), it’s a loophole.

2. What does Cafe 420 sell?

Cafe 420 and stores like it in Smokies sell exactly what you think they sell, more or less.

You might not find the same kind of goods that one might normally see in states like California or Colorado where the laws are considerably more lax, but you can walk in and purchase a wide variety of oils, things to smoke and other consumable products like candies and cookies.

It is however important to note, that this distinction is highly technical.

So before you light up and take a walk around the Parkway, when in doubt, familiarize yourself with the laws or better yet, enjoy these products from the comfort of your own cabin or hotel room.

Read Also: What not to do in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg; Our 6 tips

3. Does it ‘work’?

Well, it depends on your definition of “work”. If you mean you want to make like a kite and you’re basically a lightweight, yes it “works”.

I know, I thought it was snake oil at first too, but as it turns out, those synthetics are, well …  let’s just say science is an interesting thing.

Just do a search on this site for “cookie” for a full editorial experience on the topic.

A photo of another local specialty store that shall not be named (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)
A photo of another local specialty store in Gatlinburg, TN that shall not be named (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

4. Why is this article so vague?

We here at TheSmokies.com make our money with ads. And programatic ads don’t like leaf-related keywords.

So while we have written in much greater detail on the subject in other articles on the website which you can read here, we knew this particular article would attract better advertisers if we beat around the bush a bit.

My co-workers also dared me to write an entire article on the topic without those keywords, and I enjoy a challenge.

Read Also: Legend or lawbreaker: The real story of Popcorn Sutton

5. How do you contact Cafe 420? What is their phone number?

Cafe 420 is located at 745 Parkway, Suite 10 in Gatlinburg, TN. The store’s phone number is unlisted but you can get in touch by emailing them at [email protected].

They also have an online e-commerce store if you prefer to shop for your perfectly legal industrial synthetics at home rather than in-store.

At the time of this writing, you can even subscribe to their newsletter and they will e-mail you a coupon good for your first online purchase (terms and conditions may apply).

Have you ever shopped at Cafe 420 or a store like it in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg? Let us know about your experience in the comments.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.

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16 thoughts on “What’s the deal with Cafe 420 in downtown Gatlinburg?”

  1. Was there March 2021, there top shelf Smoke, is low grade! Street weed is available and better, was nice to have a place to smoke on the strip

  2. Just yesterday I went to 420 Cafe. I got some edibles just to see what it’s about. I must say I was very impressed with the outcome. I might go back for more before I leave. I want to try the leaf products.

  3. Went to Cafe 420 a few months ago and got some candies and smoke and was well impressed

  4. Gatlinburg looks like the Vegas strip through there and has lost its mountain appeal, if you are lucky enough to spot a mountain through all the condos and hotels. I guess now its moving away from the more family friendly atmosphere also. Thumbs down

  5. Its extremely weak especially the gummies it says eat half of one I ended up eatting 5 to feel cost alot to

  6. I wish Louisiana would have cafes like this . It was relaxed and peaceful no hassle. Loved it. And the produce was awesome!!! 10 stars for me

  7. I spent a week there in Gatlinburg back in March this year.
    My friend and I enjoy talking with the staff along with the relaxed atmosphere.
    We look forward to seeing you all soon at Thanksgiving.

  8. I went in to check it out and it is similar to the dispensary in St Louis. Going to get some blackberry Kush to take home. I’m a Indica guy 👍 I don’t like being too stoned that I don’t enjoy and can’t function. Will leave a feedback on the product when I get home. I am a medical Rx cannabis user.

  9. I am looking for Traci is she still working there?? She’s the best worker there!!! Want to stop in n see her n get some things from her only

  10. We bought what they recommended as “top shelf product” and honestly to no surprise it was disappointing. If you are an occasional or non smoker you might feel something. For the rest of us my advice is don’t waste your money. It is ridiculously expensive as well.

  11. We spent a long weekend enjoying the mountain air and relaxing…. then we spotted it ( or rather smelled it 😉) Café 420. After speaking with the owner/grower about how they are able to sell legally I chose to buy a 100mg Rice Crispy Treat. Yea, it was a bit pricey, but when on vacation….
    I thoroughly enjoyed the effects, and felt them everywhere 😉 after eating ~1/3rd.

  12. I’m s regular smoker. This place impressed me. I’ll be back Everytime I go. Ppl complaining are just hating lol.
    I didn’t get top shelf but next down and felt it just fine.

  13. I went there a few days ago on vacation. I live in Michigan where weed is literally everywhere, and work at a dispensary… so I have high expectations. the guy working the counter didn’t seem to want to share much about the process. I’m pretty sure it’s all Delta 9 or something like that. I bought a preroll and smoked my own vape I brought along out on the deck. It was a cool experience but not anything too impressive.

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