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.

150K Pounds of Legal Marijuana Sold in CO Last Year

Dispensaries and retail cannabis stores in Colorado sold nearly 150,000 pounds of marijuana flower last [click to continue...]

Medical Cannabis Demand Outweighing Supply in DC

supply and demand

Recreational marijuana has dominated headlines out of Washington DC this week, as the use, possession [click to continue...]

Another Lawsuit Over MMJ Licensing Process in Illinois

A company that got turned down for one of the Illinois’ 21 medical marijuana cultivation [click to continue...]

MJ Financial Services Firm Secures $2M Investment

A financial services firm that plans to serve the cannabis industry has secured $2 million [click to continue...]

Alaska’s Largest City Enacts MJ Concentrates Rules


Alaska marijuana entrepreneurs who want to specialize in infused products or extracts will have to [click to continue...]

Washington DC Mayor Seeks to Ban ‘Cannabis Clubs’

With private marijuana use on track to become legal in Washington DC on Thursday barring [click to continue...]

Evicted MMJ Grower Wants Same Legal Protections as Farmers

Oregon is facing an interesting question tied to its medical marijuana law: Should evicted cannabis [click to continue...]

Report: Outlook for MJ Stocks Strong, But Many Could Stumble

cannabis stocks

Institutional investors will put money into cannabis stocks this year, though many publicly traded MJ [click to continue...]

Alaska Governor Seeks Marijuana Industry Oversight Board

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has sent a bill to state lawmakers calling for the establishment [click to continue...]

Canadian Stock Regulators: Risk Disclosures Lacking

Canadian stock regulators have a word of warning for those investing in MMJ companies north [click to continue...]

Minnesota Medical Cannabis Workers Join Union


At least half of Minnesota’s medical marijuana dispensaries will be unionized. The United Food and [click to continue...]

Kosher Medical Cannabis Certification in New York?

Dispensary owners in New York may have a niche customer base to tap when they [click to continue...]

U.S. Investment Fund Inks Another Deal With Canadian Grower

A U.S. investment fund has cemented its second deal with a Canadian cannabis grower this [click to continue...]

Some San Jose Dispensaries Refusing to Pay Tax

cannabis taxes

Dispensary owners in San Jose, California, are in a dispute with the city over unpaid [click to continue...]