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News Link • Drugs and Medications

Green rush, grey market: How free weed is firing up D.C.'s pot 'gifting economy'


For an asking price of $50 for a grape lollipop, at least the vendor tossed in some locally grown goodies. The free samples, given away with a handshake in the hazy basement of an after-hours Ethiopian restaurant, came sealed in a plastic baggie — 3.5 grams of downright skunky marijuana buds.

The customer quickly disregarded the candy for his "free gift."

"Just a regular lollipop," he said over a steady thrum of grimy hip hop.

"And this," he said, dangling his complimentary baggie, "is ganja!"

So it goes in stoner-tolerant Washington, D.C.

Even after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed Obama-era guidelines over the holidays, rolling back a policy that helped shield from federal enforcement marijuana use in states where the substance was decriminalized, a green rush is booming for pot products in the District. 

It comes courtesy of shrewd distributors who have cultivated a successful "gifting economy" to game restrictions on retail weed.

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