Free Weed For Community Service?

By Victoria Kim 07/25/17

The owner of a Maine medical marijuana dispensary used a novel approach to clean up his local community.

A group of people picking up litter in a yard.

A Maine medical marijuana business is cleaning up the community with one pretty sweet incentive: free weed.

On Saturday, Summit Medical Marijuana in Gardiner, Maine gave free cannabis to any Mainer over 21 who brought in bags of trash picked up off the street. Owner Dennis Meehan, the mastermind behind the day of service, invited the community to join in on the cleanup via Facebook and gave a gram for every bag filled with litter.

Meehan says he got the idea from a town in Colorado. He hopes similar community initiatives can spread to other parts of Maine.

“It turned out incredible,” said Meehan. “The people that came and helped clean the community, they’re special people, you know, and they were so happy to do it.” 

He also wants to bring awareness to the healing properties of cannabis. “It’s profound,” he said. “There’s a whole world of science out there. It doesn’t just affect that patient, it affects every single person in the family.”

Though the legal cannabis market is still in the beginning stages, it is legal to give cannabis away in Maine. Cannabis was legalized for recreational use last November and the law took effect in January, but retailers are not expected to be up and running until at least February 2018, when the state will finally issue retail licenses.

So for now, even though weed is legal in Maine—adults 21 and older are able to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and grow their own plants—selling it without a retail license is illegal. Mainers don’t yet have a legal source to buy weed from.

The Cannabis Shack in Biddeford is one example of a Maine marijuana business that's skirting the legal marijuana limbo, by giving away products for free and accepting donations instead of payment. Jack Sargent is the man behind the Shack—he dreams up cannabis-infused edibles like brownies, salad dressing, and his “award winning” Hell Sauce 420 hot sauce.

Another company called Leafy Delivery offers free “cannabis gifts” to people willing to pay a delivery fee.

Law enforcement in Maine tell the Portland Press Herald that they haven’t seen a rise in the illegal sale of cannabis—but at the same time, said that police haven’t really been seeking out that type of activity. 

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr