The owner of a west Spokane pot shop is vowing to follow through on a promise to donate marijuana to medical patients, despite concerns from state regulators about advertising.
Carol Ehrhart, owner of 4:20 Friendly off Sunset Highway, said Tuesday afternoon the store planned to go ahead with its giveaway of up to an ounce of marijuana to patients with a medical card all day Wednesday. Ehrhart’s pledge came after being contacted by enforcement officials from the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board, following up on concerns prompted by TV news reports about the promotion.
“I’m not advertising,” Ehrhart said Tuesday. “This is a news story.”
Donations of marijuana to patients are allowed under the state’s new regulations on medical pot that went into effect in July, said Mikhail Carpenter, a spokesman for the Liquor and Cannabis board. But advertising the donations isn’t allowed, he said, and could open businesses to fines or other enforcement actions.
“The idea was to give retailers the ability to donate to patients, out of the kindness of their heart,” Carpenter said. “It wasn’t meant to become an advertising thing.”
The law reads: “Marijuana retail licensees holding a medical marijuana endorsement may donate product to qualifying patients or designated providers who hold a valid recognition card. Retail licensees may not advertise ‘free’ or ‘donated’ product.”
Ehrhart said the producer provided the marijuana that will be donated for free, only charging the retailer for packaging the drug. She said the goal was to show a commitment to patients.
“We expected we were going to raise some waves,” Ehrhart said of the attention from the Liquor and Cannabis Board. “We didn’t expect this many waves.”
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