July 29, 2011

Michican Dispensary Offers Free Weed for Voter Registration

Now here’s an unusual (and controversial) marketing practice: A medical marijuana dispensary in Lansing, Michigan, recently offered customers a half gram of free weed if they registered to vote.

Encouraging citizens to perform their civic duty is an honorable thing. In this case, though, there could be more at work. Your Healthy Choice Clinic posted the offer on its website ahead of an election for city council seats. The council recently voted to limit the number of dispensaries and charge a $1,000  application fee.

Given that backdrop, some city officials suggest Your Healthy Choice Clinic might have been trying to “buy” votes for city council candidates who are more sympathetic to the medical marijuana industry.

This is a very gray area. Lansing’s city clerk told a local TV station that the dispensary is treading in dangerous water, as the promotion appears “tied to which candidates the clinic supports.”

“There are very clear prohibitions in the law about giving someone any type of consideration for voting or voting a certain way or you can’t give someone an enticement for not voting,” Swope said.

Others take issue with a tagline – “Vote for us and we’ll vote for you” – that appeared on the dispensary’s website alongside the promotion.

The dispensary’s owner, Shekina Pena, of course disagrees, saying that the business didn’t tell people who to vote for in the election. But the state’s attorney general is now looking into the issue, drawing unwanted attention to the industry.

Whether or not Your Healthy Choice Clinic crossed a line, the fact that it even ventured close to the boundary is discouraging. Medical marijuana dispensaries should go out of their way to avoid controversy, as the industry already has enough problems when it comes to public perception.

Post Your Comment:

Please note:
Comments are moderated by our editors who do their best to approve comments ASAP. As Marijuana Business Daily is focused on business, we approve comments that are specifically relevant to industry professionals. General opinions and questions about cannabis may not be posted.

Denver MJ Growers Major Contributor to Rise in Energy Use

Marijuana cultivation facilities have been specifically identified as a key contributor to Denver’s increasing electric [click to continue...]

Alaska Governor Names 5 to Marijuana Control Board

Five Alaskans were appointed to a board that will craft laws governing the state’s recreational [click to continue...]

New York Could Reveal MMJ License Winners Soon


The New York Health Department may announce winners of the five medical cannabis licenses up [click to continue...]

50+ Medical Cannabis Business Applications Filed in MA

The Green Rush is back on in Massachusetts. The opening of the first medical cannabis [click to continue...]

Oregon Rec Rules Materializing, Early Sales Possible

Rules governing Oregon’s recreational marijuana market are taking shape, with state lawmakers sending two bills [click to continue...]

Rand Paul Brings in Six Figures at MJ Industry Fundraiser


Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul made a splash in Denver on Tuesday, raising an estimated [click to continue...]

Hawaii Bill Establishing Dispensaries Likely to Become Law

Dispensaries could be open in Hawaii in just over a year, as a bill establishing [click to continue...]

Second MMJ Bill Introduced in Pennsylvania Legislature

In an attempt to get around obstructionists in the state House of Representatives who have [click to continue...]

Fifth New Jersey Dispensary Given Green Light

New Jersey medical cannabis, pot dispensary and marijuana industry news

And then there were five. Dispensaries permitted in New Jersey, that is. Compassionate Sciences, Inc. [click to continue...]

Louisiana Gov Signs Medical Marijuana Bill

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill making his state the latest in the [click to continue...]

New York Cannabis Firm Buys Oregon Utility Building for $3M

In another sign of the marijuana industry’s growing national reach, a New York-based real estate [click to continue...]

WA Moves Closer to Overhauling Marijuana Tax Structure

cannabis taxes

Washington State growers and processors would no longer pay a 25% tax on cannabis and [click to continue...]

Sole MMJ Dispensary Opens in Delaware

Delaware’s only licensed medical cannabis dispensary officially opened in the northern town of Wilmington on [click to continue...]

Canadian Cultivator Tilray to Lay Off 61 Employees

Canadian medical marijuana producer and distributor Tilray said it will lay off 61 employees as [click to continue...]

Marijuana Business Daily