When recreational marijuana became officially legal in Michigan two months ago, there was much rejoicing.
The rejoicing came to quick halt when the revelers realized that the state wouldn’t be issuing licenses to marijuana businesses until the beginning of 2020.
And they were soon left wondering how they could get access to pot.
Enter the entrepreneurial minded folks who are creating some pretty not-so-legal loopholes for gifting marijuana to these crushed souls.
Candy and T-Shirts – At Serious Cost
It’s clear that there’s a big demand for pot. People WANT it. And although there are all sorts of things that are illegal when it comes to Michigan’s marijuana legalization, it’s totally legal to give away or transfer up to 2.5 ounces of weed.
Provided there is no compensation, of course.
But the supply side is struggling. And there’s currently no system in place to provide for the retail sale and delivery of adult recreational marijuana.
Some people have decided to establish “marijuana gifting service plans” to weather this one year weed drought.
Still, 2.5 ounces of weed just isn’t that much. And it’s pretty tough to establish any sort of lucrative business with such a limited supply. Especially since it’s illegal to advertise these gifts.
To get around this, owners of these businesses will sell a piece of candy for $100 or a t-shirt for $300 and then “gift” some marijuana with them.
In cases such as these, it’s incredibly obvious what’s going on. The candy isn’t filled with gold and the shirts aren’t limited edition concert t-shirts. But the old rules of supply and demand dictate that if people want it badly enough, they’ll pay for it. And so they do.
Reputable lawyers in the cannabis biz don’t recommend this route, but that hasn’t stopped many of these operations.
The Not-So-Legal Loophole of Medical Marijuana
An online Ann Arbor chocolate business launched on December 6th with the tagline, “Buy some chocolate, get some weed.” The company garnered attention on reddit and sold out in three days. Whether this can be considering “advertising” or “promoting” is dicey, since reddit is a discussion forum.
Meanwhile, the owner did $1,700 in business in those three days. Even though the business itself had no cannabis.
Customers over 21 paid $10 to $15 for the chocolate and then were offered a gift of marijuana by the delivery driver – who was a medical marijuana patient. The amount and type of marijuana was up to the driver’s discretion.
This worked because it remains unclear on whether medical patients can gift marijuana to non-patients or if caregivers can gift marijuana to people who aren’t their patients. This will probably have to be decided eventually through an advisory from the state attorney general. Or possibly through future court cases.
But until all of this becomes clearer, Michigan is clearly in the Wild West era of marijuana legalization. For now, there’s just no lawful way to buy recreational weed.
We Are in Transition
And it seems that everyone from the courts to law enforcement to the legislature recognize this. Thus, there have certainly been allowances when it comes to these not-so-legal loopholes for gifting marijuana.
But it’s only a matter of time before things get whipped into shape.
In the meantime, if you’re looking to boost your public relations and marketing efforts for your legal cannabis business, contact us to see how we can help you during this “hiatus.”
Take advantage of this time and become a serious force in 2020.