Coronavirus impact: San Francisco's Hippie Hill quiet on 4/20 after cancellation due to COVID-19

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Hippie Hill in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park is off limits today. There is a chain link fence surrounding it, with signs that say it is closed and park rangers stationed around it to watch for violators.

It is 4/20 of 2020. A huge celebration was expected this year as marijuana lovers gather on this day to smoke and celebrate pot. But Mayor London Breed canceled the event to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

RELATED: San Francisco mayor urges public to not celebrate 4/20 at Golden Gate Park

As of Monday morning, her calls for people to stay away worked. The park was empty.

WATCH: Split-screen video shows Hippie Hill on 4/20 this year verse 2018
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4/20 on Hippie Hill looked very different this year compared to years past. Where there's normally crowds of people and clouds of smoke, there were empty fields patrolled by police as people are ordered to shelter-at-home.

Workers at San Francisco's dispensary the Apothecarium were happy to hear that.

"I am really glad to hear that people are not at Golden Gate Park and they are sheltering in place. We are encouraging people to celebrate this year at home," Said Apothecarium spokesperson Eliot Dobris from his backyard.

"We are offering delivery. We encourage people to order online for delivery or in-store pick up. But we are really encouraging delivery this year," he said.

RELATED: 'Stay within your envelope,' Bay Area Rapper E-40 shares importance of social distancing on 4/20

April 20 usually brings thousands of people to the park. It has gotten so big, the city has recently permitted the event and lined up sponsors to help pay for the security and the clean-up. But this year, people are encouraged to have virtual celebrations with friends.

"Am I sad that we can't all get together for 4/20? Of course. This is a terrible virus. I wish we could celebrate in person. But I would be more sad if people were out and taking risks. This is the year we have to stay safe," he said.

Dobris isn't sure what to expect in terms of sales volume this year, calling it such an unprecedented year.

The Mayor says police will issue citations to anyone who tries to gather in the park for this event.

RELATED: Bay Area rapper E-40 talks with ABC7, urges people to stay inside on 4/20 to prevent spread of COVID-19

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