A Winnipeg-based cannabis company is offering joints for jabs to fully vaccinated people in the province — with three lucky Manitobans getting a year’s supply of weed.
Starting this week, Delta 9 Cannabis will allow anyone who’s received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter a unique rewards program, which includes three grand prizes and monthly giveaways.
If store staff at any of the nine locations in Manitoba can verify your immunization record, either online or in print, you’ll be eligible for up to 28 grams (worth about $100) per month for as long as a year.
That prize can be won by three people, with winners drawn from a pool on July 31, August 31 and September 30.
On top of that, 20 free joints of rolled cannabis will be up for grabs at the end of every month this summer, and Delta 9-branded apparel will also be given away.
No purchases are required to participate in a draw for any of those prizes.
John Arbuthnot, chief executive officer of Delta 9, told the Free Press that the program aims to get as many Manitobans vaccinated as possible.
He said it’s a way to support the province’s "4-3-2-One Great Summer Reopening Path," a three-pronged approach that provides more freedoms and less restrictions for each of the major holidays during the season: Canada Day, August long weekend and Labour Day.
"It’s all about doing our part to do the right thing," Arbuthnot said Monday.
"There’s so many ways in which we’ve been incredibly fortunate during the pandemic," he said of the company that was one of the original 13 cannabis producers to be licensed by Health Canada.
"We’re part of an industry that was considered essential, so I particularly feel responsibility to do what we can for the businesses and people that have been impacted most."
As of Monday, over 71 per cent of Manitobans aged over 12 years old have one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and more than 25 per cent people within that range of ages have received both their doses.
That means the Canada Day benchmarks for vaccinations have now been met. But the provincial government has yet to announce exactly which restrictions will be eased, when current public-health orders expire later this week.
"At the end of the day, we all want to see our family and friends sooner rather than later," said Arbuthnot. "So, if a free cannabis program helps that journey to get vaccinated rolling along, it’s something Delta 9 is more than happy to do."
Temur Durrani reports on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic for the Winnipeg Free Press.