In Massachusetts a budding entrepreneur attempted to find a way to circumvent the 18-month wait for legal recreational marijuana sales to begin there. Via Craigslist the seller recently offered plastic bags for ranging in price from $20 to $325. They happen to contain a “gift” of marijuana, the weight of which corresponded to the bag price, according to the ad: “I am selling you an empty bag. Marijuana placed In that empty sandwich bag is simply a legal gift.”
Slick. But is it actually legal — and could it open the door to similar under-the-table sales here in California, where recreational possession in now legal, with recreational sales scheduled to start next year? No and no. “The ads are illegal,” Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan told a Boston radio station. “It’s illegal to sell marijuana in Massachusetts even with the new ballot initiative.”
The trick wouldn't work any better in California, according to Tamar Todd, director of legal affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. In November California voters legalized recreational weed under Proposition 64, which allows Californians 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of pot.
But sales are heavily regulated, and retail recreational cannabis won't begin until Jan. 1. The plastic bag loophole wouldn't fly, according to Todd. “I think that would be giving away marijuana as part of a business promotion, which is not allowed under Proposition 64,” Todd said in an email. “It is an attempt at unlicensed sales, which also is not allowed.”
Indeed, “No licensee shall give away any amount of marijuana or marijuana products, or any marijuana accessories, as part of a business promotion or other commercial activity,” the law states.