State Officials Promote Marijuana Gifting, Infused Baking And Safety Tips For The Holiday Season

December 22, 2023 ·

State marijuana regulators across the country are marking the holiday season with messages about gifting cannabis as a present, making infused Christmas cookies and keeping products secure.

From California to New Jersey and New York to Virginia, regulatory bodies overseeing legal markets are engaging consumers on social media with holiday-themed posts, spreading the word about their respective marijuana laws and leaning into cannabis culture.

California’s Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), for example, shared an animated GIF on X (formerly Twitter) that looks like a grandmother holding baked goods decorated with a marijuana leaf, with text that asks followers about their “favorite cannabis holiday recipe.”

New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC), meanwhile, is reminding adults that they’re allowed to “legally gift up to one ounce of cannabis to adults 21 years and older in New Jersey,” with details about the policy featured on a seasonal image of gifts, tree ornaments and pine twigs.

“Don’t forget though, it is illegal to transport cannabis across state lines,” the message adds, followed by a link to a government directory of licensed marijuana retailers.

In neighboring New York, the state Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) shared a “Holiday Stash Safety” guide last week that features tips on storing marijuana products to prevent youth access and avoid accidental ingestion.

“Keep your spirits high and your stash secure this holiday season with these OCM safe storage practices,” regulators said in the post, which also contains emergency contact information that people can use if someone needs help after accidentally consuming marijuana or taking too much at a holiday gathering.

New York officials also promoted the state’s cannabis gifting policy during the season of giving, reminding adults that they can “spread holiday joy with a joint or two!”

“Remember, it’s legal to share the gift of #NYcannabis with anyone over 21,” OCM said, with a link to the office’s dispensary location verification page so people can find “the perfect products to gift at your nearest legal dispensary.”

In another post, OCM promoted the state’s marijuana farmers markets that are running through the end of the year under a transitional program that’s sunsetting.

Adults can give “the gift of green this holiday season” with a “variety of products ideal for gifting” from the Cannabis Growers Showcases, regulators said. At the same time, patrons would be “supporting local #NYcannabis growers and brands.”

And in Virginia, the state Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) is reminding consumers to find a designated sober driver if they plan to consume marijuana as they celebrate the holidays.

“Planning to get high on holiday cheer? As you gear up for the festivities, keep the good times rollin’ in the safest way possible, and make sure your plans include a sober ride,” regulators said.

In Connecticut, meanwhile, the state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) gave residents timely notice that, as they make preparations for the holiday, adults won’t be able to buy alcohol on Christmas or New Year’s Day—but cannabis retailers can stay open under the state’s legalization law. Officials issued a similar reminder ahead of Thanksgiving this year.

Taken together, the social media posts reflect a new normal in how states are engaging with the marijuana community in an evolving, post-prohibition society—departing with stigma and punitive messaging while embracing the culture, commerce and good cheer of cannabis.

In line with that trend, last month California and New York marijuana regulators separately encouraged people to take advantage of Black Friday deals and support small businesses by shopping for cannabis at licensed retailers.

Earlier this year before the cannabis holiday 4/20, meanwhile, New York’s governor announced the launch of a public education campaign meant to encourage adults to buy their marijuana from licensed shops to ensure that products are safe and that revenue is used to advance equity and reinvestment goals. (Full Story)

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