Businesses 'Gift' Marijuana Thanks to a Legal Loophole
Why does that iced tea cost upward of $50? Is it the crazy delivery charge? Nope, it's the "gift" you receive when you order from certain businesses in Boston. As the state gears up to open legal marijuana retail stores, some entrepreneurs are getting ahead of the game by taking advantage of a loophole in the state's legal system.
Wondering how giving away "free" weed could possibly be legal? Here's the thing: Recreational marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, but the retail shops aren't open yet. Because of that, adults can "gift" marijuana to another adult.
The practice of gifting in places where recreational pot shops are already open, like in Washington and Colorado, undercuts the legal stores. It also creates somewhat of a fuzzy area in states where recreational marijuana is legal but there's no plan to open retail storefronts, like in Vermont and Maine.
According to the Press Herald, at least four businesses in Massachusetts have been "gifting" weed to customers since it was legalized in 2016. There's HighSpeed, which is the "juice" company where you're gonna cough up (pun intended) more than $50 for a drink. There's also Duuber, which delivers marijuana-themed T-shirts and a potent bonus.
Some people haven't even bothered making business seem anywhere close to legitimate. Apparently someone posted on craigslist that they were selling plastic sandwich bags for up to $325 each, and wouldn't you know it, there was a gift of weed inside those bags.
Law enforcement investigated that case, and shut down a smoke shop that gave weed to people who payed admission prices between $25 and $50.
HighSpeed, however, isn't particularly concerned.
"We've had no issues with law enforcement, and we're going to do our best to keep it that way," founder David Umeh told the Press Herald. "We're not doing anything wrong. We're abiding by the current legislation until it changes."
Once the states that legalized marijuana finally open retail stores like they have out West, this practice could fall by the wayside. But, as we see in just about every industry, there will always be disruptors who look to shake up the status quo. Maybe they will really make these promotional "gifts" with packaging and use them for advertising. Who knows?