Vancouver pot dispensary advertising free cannabis
Published Monday, December 29, 2014 6:22PM PST
Last Updated Monday, December 29, 2014 7:27PM PST
Big box stores aren’t the only ones trying to lure in new business this Boxing Week.
Vancouver pot dispensary Erbachay Health Centre has been offering a free gram of cannabis to customers who sign up and buy at least $30 worth of marijuana.
Owner Darcy Delainey said he wants his dispensary to feel as mainstream as possible, and offering familiar promotions is part of that strategy.
“[We’re trying to] let a lot of people know that there is a mainstream type of environment they can go into to help promote the positive use of cannabis,” he said.
Erbachay has already distributed 10,000 coupons around the city advertising the free pot deal.
Delainey said his store, located on South Granville Street, was also designed to look more like a high-end boutique than a head shop.
“We wanted people to feel comfortable,” he said. “They shouldn’t have to feel like they’re hiding.”
There are roughly 60 pot dispensaries in Metro Vancouver, and though all are operating in a legal grey area, the City of Vancouver supports them.
According to Coun. Kerry Jang, the government has no right to come between patients and their chosen medicine.
“Dispensaries are opening not only in Vancouver, but also popping up in places like Burnaby, where they weren’t seen before,” Jang said. “It is going to force the government to look at the problem of medical marijuana more carefully.”
The Weeds dispensary chain has already launched eight stores in Vancouver, and plans to expand next year into Surrey, Victoria, Kelowna and Whistler.
Owner Don Briere believes dispensaries are helping build momentum toward the legalization of cannabis, despite Health Canada’s efforts to control the growing market.
“The prohibition creates money for gangs. We’re paying all the appropriate taxes, creating jobs. We feel we’re a benefit to society in every way,” Briere said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Peter Grainger