Canada: East Coast Smoke Shop Holds Contest Promising ‘Free Weed For A Year,’ But Is It Legal

Photo Credit: The Canadian Press

Halifax police say they’re looking into a contest by a chain of East Coast smoke shops that promises four winners “free weed for a year.”

Mary Janes, which has a store in St. John’s, N.L., and three stores in Nova Scotia, is promoting the contest on social media and say the draw will be made the day marijuana becomes legal in Canada.

Customers must make a purchase to get a ballot.

Employees at one of the chain’s two Halifax-area outlets say there has been lots of interest, but didn’t have details on the amount to be won, or the legality of it.

They say the stores only sell smoking paraphernalia and have no intention to market cannabis.

The owner of the stores did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an email, Halifax police say the federal legislation will allow only provincially appointed entities to sell and distribute cannabis.

“Presently it is illegal for any person, business or entity to sell, give or distribute cannabis unless authorized by the federal government,” Const. Carol McIsaac wrote.

Each province and territory is developing its own legal regime for cannabis production and consumption.

The four western provinces have chosen to allow private retail operators to sell cannabis, while Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island plan to sell it only through existing provincial liquor control outlets.

Newfoundland and Labrador has issued a call for interested retailers.

Canadians will have to wait until at least early August – and maybe as late as early September – to legally purchase recreational marijuana.

That’s the bottom line after senators struck a deal to hold a final vote by June 7 on the legislation that will usher in the legal cannabis regime.