Cannabis legalization is gripping the nation, and even though public support is well over 60 percent in favor of legal cannabis, we are not in the clear just yet.
A recent incident in Massachusetts has highlighted just how misguided the entrepreneurial spirit can become if you try to edge around the letter of the law.
Massachusetts was one of several states to approve of recreational cannabis laws to go into effect in 2017. While recreational sales at a licensed storefront are still several months away, all of the states made it legal for individuals to gift cannabis to one another. This is an important factor in any legalization attempt, as it removes the ability to prosecute people for simply sharing cannabis.
One entrepreneur thought they were being extremely clever, took it a little too far, and even after being discovered, was confused as to what he had done wrong. So we will say it in big, bold letters: YOU CANNOT ADVERTISE CANNABIS, ESPECIALLY ON CRAIGSLIST.
The Massachusetts citizen in question thought it would be totally appropriate to sell cannabis on Craigslist, provided he got a little tricky with the language. The listings market the sale of clear plastic baggies, ranging from $20 to $325, with every purchase receiving a corresponding amount of cannabis as a gift inside the clear bag.
Local prosecutors were quick to confirm that this was not a clever loophole, and that the incident would be subject to fraudulent advertising of an illegal product. Yes, cannabis can be legally gifted in Massachusetts, but you certainly cannot profit from these gifts.
Even those in favor of cannabis legalization found this incident to be somewhat detrimental to the recent progress being made. Yes, it is inconvenient for a state’s population to wait up to a year to be able to legally procure cannabis from a shop, but that does not mean the Craigslist cannabis was a safer option. Regulators approve of legalization because it allows them to bottle up the supply chain to ensure safe products are being exchanged by legal businesses in order to reduce youth exposure and black market activity.
As more and more states begin to pass cannabis laws, you should not be surprised to see this kind of brazen activity continue to occur. Hopefully, the recreational supply chains will be up and running before someone else convinces themselves that the law does not apply to them! These incidents harm the way regulators look at everyone in the cannabis space, so we have to stick together and not fall into opportunistic potholes.
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