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No, you can't 'gift' pot for money in Massachusetts, police say

In the eyes of the law, a gift is still illegal if money changes hands.

After lawmakers deterred the opening of retail marijuana shops by an additional six months last week, one apparent dealer decided to take potsales online.

RELATED: Lawmakers pass bill to delay legal pot sales in Massachusetts

Going only by the name "Corey," a Craigslist user posted an ad titled “Bud, weed, marijuana, cannabis,” which listed for sale empty plastic bags ranging in price from $20 to $325. With each bag purchase, a "gift" of marijuana was promised, boston.com reported.

The text of the post was later changed to say "I'm not advertising free marijuana gifts." And instead invited people to contact the poster to, "Smoke a fatty. And chill."

Recreational marijuana was legalized for adults over 21 on Dec. 15. The law, approved by voters in November, also allow adults to possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana in their homes, grow up to 12 plants per household, carry up to 1 ounce in public and gift no more than an ounce to another adult.

Unregulated marijuana sales are still illegal in Massachusetts and regulated retail dispensaries won't open until mid-2018.

RELATED:Pot now legal statewide, but scoring some isn't

While laws now allow gifting, law enforcement has been clear that they will not tolerate people seeking loopholes.

"The new regime allows persons not licensed to operate a marijuana establishment to ‘gift’ marijuana in quantities under one ounce, but not to sell marijuana in any quantity. Attempts to evade this safe harbor with delayed or disguised payments, contemporaneous reciprocal ‘gifts’ of money or items of value, or other sham transactions, will remain a criminal act," Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety Daniel Bennett explained in adetailed letter prior to legalization last month.

 

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