Cannabis dispensary offering 1-cent products as COVID-19 vaccine incentives

Cannabis dispensary offering 1-cent products as COVID-19
vaccine incentives 1

Add cheap weed to California’s growing list of vaccination incentives.

A Contra Costa County cannabis dispensary is offering select products for a penny to anyone with a valid COVID-19 vaccine card.

7 Stars Holistic Healing Center, located in Richmond, said the promotion is an effort to “decrease COVID-19 infections in our region” and to support the county’s efforts for equitable vaccine distribution.

“We wanted to offer our platform to help the state achieve their goal of immunity against COVID-19,” 7 Stars Executive Director Zee Handoush said in a statement. “We saw other local businesses offering vaccine incentives, and we wanted to add cannabis to that growing list. We hope other members of the cannabis community to do the same.”

7 Stars Marketing Director Ben Grambergu said Thursday that more than 400 people have taken advantage of the offer since it launched last week, equating to “almost a pound in grams” of cannabis. Other products include cannabis chocolates and gummies, which are being offered on a rotating basis, he said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, facing a recall election, draws the names of the first winners of California’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery in an upbeat event.

The effort comes amid slowing vaccination numbers in California. During the week ending June 6, the state administered an average of about 129,000 doses per day, compared with about 284,000 per day during the same week the month prior, according to state data.

Last week, Gov. Gavin Newsom drew winners of the first cash prizes in California’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery, which will give away $116.5 million to randomly selected vaccinated residents.

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“Incentives have long worked, and incentives are indeed what we are advancing here today,” Newsom said during the June 4 drawing, which took place on a set designed to look like a game show.

Currently, about 56% of Californians have received at least one dose, and 46% are fully vaccinated, according to The Times tracker.

In Contra Costa County, the numbers are slightly better, with 65% of residents at least partially vaccinated.

Still, Grambergu said, there is some vaccine hesitancy within the “cannabis community,” including people who have a “distrust for ‘Big Pharma.’ ”

“It does seem to be moving the needle,” he said of the promotion. “These are $20, $30 products. I think it actually is helping get some of these folks in the cannabis community.”

7 Stars is licensed as both a medical and recreational dispensary, although Grambergu said its focus is on the medicinal side of the plant.

The 1-cent products are being offered through their vendor sponsors, Bloom Farms, Revive Pure Life and Papa and Barkley, and are available while supplies last.

The company also has applied to be a mobile vaccination site through the California Department of Public Health, it said. That application is pending.

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