With many people still hesitant to get vaccinated, often from misinformation spread on social media and websites, municipalities, states and employers have all turned to incentives for getting sleeves rolled up. California is giving out cash prizes. CVS is having a drawing for a free cruise. Uber and Lyft are providing free rides to vaccination sites. There are giveaways with gift cards, lottery tickets, college scholarships, even subway passes in New York and boiled crawfish in New Orleans. And cannabis, too, is getting into the act.
In Washington State, state-licensed cannabis retailers are providing one joint to adult consumers who receive their COVID-19 shots at an in-store vaccination clinic. (This followed on the heels of a free beer, wine or cocktails program for vaccinated state residents.) Similarly, Arizona’s “Snax for Vaxx” program had the Mint Cannabis Dispensary partner with Phoenix-area medical clinics to provide a free joint and an edible gummy to adults receiving a vaccination — and gave already-vaccinated customers showing their cards at their dispensaries a free edible.
Greenhouse in Walled Lake, Michigan has been giving customers who show their vaccination cards a free pre-rolled joint in a program called “Pot For Shots;” well over 25,000 have been handed out to date. And 7 Stars dispensary in Richmond, California is offering vaccinated customers infused chocolate bars for a penny each.
Cannabis employers are taking various stances in their attempts to have all of their workers vaccinated: a goal driven by two common beliefs. One, employers feel that as their employees are branded as essential workers, they should follow the highest standard. And two, they see the medical and health side of cannabis as mandating they demand the same of their employees as hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Some employers require all workers to be vaccinated, and some are encouraging but not mandating.
Cartridge manufacturer Spherex n Aurora, Colorado was able to reach 100% employee compliance in a time-honored fashion: cash payments. Pennsylvania cultivator Peace Tree Farms is taking a strict approach, requiring all workers to complete their vaccinations by Labor Day or be terminated. Chicago-based multistate operator Cresco Labs is using multiple methods at once across their facilities: educational campaigns, internal publicity featuring vaccinated employees, arranging on-site vaccination programs, and offering paid time off both for getting shots and for recovery from any side effects. And California grower Glass House has promised all their employees an epic fiesta party later this summer everyone can look forward to — but only if at least 90% of workers get vaccinated.