Washington State Sets Up ‘Joints for Jabs’ Vaccine Incentive

Washington State Sets Up 'Joints for Jabs' Vaccine Incentive Rolled joint with marijuana against the background of fresh cones of cannabis flowers (Dreamstime)

By Brian Freeman | Tuesday, 08 June 2021 12:52 PM

Adults can receive a free marijuana joint when they get their COVID-19 vaccination shot, Washington state has announced.

The state's liquor and cannabis board said the promotion, called "Joints for Jabs," would run through July 12, The New York Times reported.

In an attempt to have more of Washington's population vaccinated, participating marijuana retailers will be permitted to give customers who are at least 21 years old a pre-rolled joint at their stores when they receive their first or second dose at a vaccine clinic.

The board specified the promotion applies only to joints and not to other products such as edibles.

The program comes just days after the state reached its goal of vaccinating at least 70% of its adults, according to USA Today. Gov. Jay Inslee said hitting that mark will permit the state to get rid of most of the remaining restrictions connected to the coronavirus.

The promotion comes after the state's liquor and cannabis board also recently permitted a free beer, wine, or cocktail to be handed out to those with proof of vaccination.

Other states have also been using similar incentives to increase the vaccination numbers, especially after the pace of vaccinations began to decrease sharply in mid-April.

An Arizona dispensary recently gave out free marijuana joints or gummy edibles to those at least 21 years old who receive a coronavirus vaccination.

"So many states declared cannabis retailers and employees as essential early on in the pandemic," cannabis brand and business consultant Ben Mervis told USA Today. "This is a poetic opportunity for them to not only give back but to incentivize efforts to create safer, vaccinated communities."

Other states have held lotteries awarding cash prizes as promotions for the vaccine, including ones in New York and Ohio in which a raffle winner will get a full-ride college scholarship.

White House virus adviser Andy Slavitt said the Biden administration is supportive of these types of incentives and is encouraging states to be creative in coming up with ideas. The administration is also permitting states to use certain federal relief funds to pay for these types of programs.

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