Pubdate: Tue, 05 Apr 2016
Source: Washington Times (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.
Author: Ryan McDermott


An Oakland-based company has started delivery cold-pressed juice in 
the District - with a side of free marijuana.

As a way to skirt the District's law against selling cannabis - while 
still taking advantage of residents being allowed possess up to two 
ounces of pot - HighSpeed is offering to sell residents juice and 
"gift" them some marijuana with their order. The company started in 
Oakland in 2015 and begin deliveries in the District about two 
months, having already served about 300 customers, according to HighSpeed.

"HighSpeed's ground-breaking service is completely legal thanks to 
Initiative 71, which states that if [a customer is] over 21, it is 
legal to possess cannabis, as long as it is given as a gift," a 
Monday statement from HighSpeed said. "Customers pay solely for the 
juice, and the cannabis is included to show love for HighSpeed 
supporters." Would that it were so simple. On the HighSpeed website, 
one can order an $11 cold-pressed juice and add a "donation" that 
adjusts the price to either $55 or $150. With that donation comes the 

D.C. voters approved the legalization of marijuana in November 2014, 
and the law became effective in February 2015. It allows residents to 
possess and grow small amounts of pot, but it bans the sale, 
distribution and public consumption of the weed. The law does not 
apply to federally owned land, including federal parks.

The Metropolitan Police Department and D.C. Attorney General Karl 
Racine did not respond to questions of the legality of the business, 
but the company in some ways mirrors the same predicament the Kush 
Gods business has faced recently.

Kush Gods set up in the District not long after cannabis ownership 
was legalized and claimed they "traded" pot for donations, rather 
than selling the drug. The company employed a fleet SUVs with 
marijuana leaves and a phone number painted on them.

But D.C. police in October opened a criminal investigation into the 
group and in December shut down the operation and arrested owner 
Nicholas Cunningham.

Mr. Cunningham maintained his innocence, but shed some light on his 
business practices in an interview with New York Magazine.

"I mean, of course it's a business. I have to explain that to donors 
at times, people thinking I should just give it to them for free. 
I've got to explain that we still have to keep the lights on, and we 
still have got to provide this service, so you can't just expect us 
to give this stuff away," he told the magazine in December.

That argument didn't hold water, though and in late March Mr. 
Cunningham pleaded guilty to two counts of selling marijuana to an 
undercover officer. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail, but that 
was suspended in favor of two years of probation.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom