“Hey, (Victoria police,) is it just me or is this a little sketchy?” read a Tweet from radio station employee Mitch Hawes, who found one of the flyers on his car on Monday. The post spurred the department’s visit to James Whitehead, owner of the Gorge Cannabis Dispensary.
“My liaison officer rolled by and said ‘hey James …we just got asked whether or not this was OK, and out of respect can you hold off on putting these out right now?”
The deal offered on the flyer was a free gram of cannabis for every gram purchased. Whitehead said he was merely trying to attract legitimate medical customers who might have been stuck patronizing the city’s less reputable dispensaries, the places with “pool tables, neon signs and Bob Marley posters.”
Located next to a pharmacy and a doctor’s office within the larger Gorge Health Centre, the dispensary has a clinical air and provides cannabis only to customers who have been certified for medical marijuana by Health Canada, or who have a prescription from an MD.
“If Health Canada was sending good quality marijuana through the mail in a timely fashion, then all these (license holders) would not be in a position where they’re forced to seek alternatives,” Whitehead said.
The Victoria case is not the first time a B.C. dispensary has drawn attention for promising free cannabis. In December, flyers from a downtown dispensary were placed on cars in Metro Vancouver, also promising, “free premium cannabis.”
RCMP in Richmond, B.C., said at the time they weren’t too worried about it.
“Our position on the business cards is that nothing criminal is being committed simply by handing them out to the public at large,” said Cpl. Dennis Hwang.