In an effort to incentivize public Covid-19 vaccinations, the LCB is temporarily permitting licensed cannabis retailers to give away a free joint to customers who receive a Covid-19 vaccination at a promotional clinic on-site at the retail location. This program only applies only to retailers and is only effect for about one month (from June 7, 2021 - July 12, 2021).
This free joint program differs significantly from the recent permissive program promulgated by the LCB for breweries and bars. As part of that program, bars and breweries may purchase a single drink for a patron with proof of vaccination. The drink cannot be advertised as "free" - it must be advertised as the house purchasing the drink for the patron. This program differs in two material respects from the cannabis program.
What we see here with the cannabis vaccination incentive program that we don't see on the liquor side is the requirement that the cannabis retail store give away the free joint as part on an on-premises covid-19 vaccination clinic. A retail store can partner with a local mobile clinc, pharmacy, or community vaccinator to hold a workplace clinic. Retailers should contact their local health department for information about potential partners in their area.
However, unlike in the liquor based incentive program, the joint may be given-away for free, which means that retailers engaging in the program can advertise that a free joint will be provided for those receiving vaccinations at the on-site clinic. Further, it means that the give-away will not be subject to sales and excise tax since no sale occurs. Although the joint is provided free-of charge to a customer; the retailer must purchase the joint at wholesale and must keep a record of all giveways as part of this promotion.
Additionally, the LCB has limited the products that may be given away to a single pre-roll joint only to those customers who receive a first or second COVID-19 vaccine dose at the on-site vaccine clinic. Giveaways cannot be advanced or delayed - they must be provided in the same visit as the vaccine injection occurred. It also goes without saying that complementary joints may only be provided to those 21 years or older.