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This US state is offering free marijuana joints in exchange for COVID-19 vaccinations

ABC News logo ABC News 6/8/2021

Adults can claim a complimentary joint of marijuana in Washington state this week when they receive a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

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The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board announced Monday that the promotion, called "Joints for Jabs," was effective immediately and would run through July 12. During the afforded time period, state-licensed cannabis retailers are permitted to give one free pre-rolled joint to customers who are 21 or older when they receive their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at an active, on-site vaccination clinic. Customers can only claim the complimentary joint from the retail location during the same visit as receiving the jab, according to the board.

a sign hanging off the side of a road: A digital highway sign promotes COVID-19 vaccination on May 14, 2021 in Vancouver, Wash. © Nathan Howard/Getty Images, FILE A digital highway sign promotes COVID-19 vaccination on May 14, 2021 in Vancouver, Wash.

The board said it has "received multiple requests from cannabis retail licensees to engage in promotions to support state vaccination efforts." The board recently allowed for a beer, wine or cocktail to be provided at no cost for those 21 or older who are vaccinated by June 30.

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More than 44% of the Evergreen State's population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the latest data from the Washington State Department of Health. Meanwhile, over 42% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

a close up of a hand: A person holds a marijuana joint in this stock photo. © STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images A person holds a marijuana joint in this stock photo.

Washington is not the only U.S. state to get creative in incentivizing people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. In Arizona, a cannabis dispensary is handing out free pre-rolled joints and gummy edibles in exchange for getting vaccinated. On April 20, a day widely considered the unofficial pot holiday, cannabis reform activist group D.C. Marijuana Justice (DCMJ) gave away more than 8 pounds of locally-grown cannabis rolled up into over 4,200 joints at 30 vaccination sites across Washington, D.C. Then New Jersey partnered with 13 local breweries to offer free beer to residents who got their first vaccine dose in May.

a close up of a hand © STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images MORE: This is why vaccine lottery prizes may work for some, according to psychology experts

Meanwhile, several states have launched COVID-19 vaccine lotteries in which vaccinated residents are eligible to win cash prizes.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 33 million people across the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and nearly 600,000 have died from the disease, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.


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