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Medical marijuana patients get a very happy Thanksgiving from one INBA Member

On Thanksgiving, most people show their appreciation for the year’s harvest by stuffing it down their own gullets. But not the staff at 4:20 Friendly, an INBA member and cannabis shop near Spokane International Airport. This year, these marijuana heroes are giving thanks for their green bounty by giving away $36,000 worth of free cannabis.

“There’s also a lot of people that really need it that don’t have the money to be able to afford it,” Carol Ehrhart, the shop’s owner, told local news station KXLY. By exploiting a loophole in Senate Bill 5052, a state law passed in April that made medical marijuana much more difficult — and expensive — to obtain, Ehrhart plans to donate a free ounce of weed to the first 180 medical marijuana card holders that show up at her store’s doorstep on Wednesday. Her wily law-skirting strategy illustrates the lengths many medical marijuana dealers and users will have to go to as they adapt to a legislation-dense legal cannabis landscape — and represents a kind-spirited form of legal protest.

Under Senate Bill 5052, Washington’s mostly unregulated medical marijuana industry was reorganized under the state’s recreational marijuana industry rules, which severely curtailed opportunities for users to access medical marijuana cheaply. Medical marijuana dispensaries were folded into existing retail stores, patient possession limits were reduced from 24 ounces to three ounces, and the number of household plants people are permitted to grow was cut down from 15 to six. In addition, the law forbids businesses from advertising marijuana as free — but, as Ehrhart noted, it doesn’t prohibit donating marijuana to users.

“First time I read it in the rules, that a retail store can donate to qualified patients, I’ve been wanting to do it,” Vernon told KXLY. She worked together with a marijuana farmer named Robert Vernon, owner of nearby BBB Farms, to make this Thanksgiving miracle a reality.  4:20 Friendly will hand out the donations to people with legitimate medical marijuana cards, he’s going to make a lot of Washingtonians happy this Thanksgiving.

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