An Oklahoma dispensary is offering nearly-free marijuana products to anyone with a medical marijuana license who can prove they got a vaccination.

James Monks, owner of Bud’s Craft Cannabis in McAlester, said he started “Pot for Shots” in an effort to persuade more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We wanted to be kind of an outreach program that would encourage more people to get the vaccine,” Monks said.

He also said anybody with a valid Oklahoma medical marijuana license who shows written documentation that they received the vaccine will be able to buy a pre-rolled joint for a penny containing the King Tut strain. According to Bud’s menu on Leafly.com, the normal retail price for a King Tut pre-roll is $10.

Oklahoma state law prohibits dispensaries from advertising "free" or "donated" products.

“We set aside a large chunk of money and then we bought the product with it and so I think we got plenty,” said Monks.

Oklahoma had reported nearly 400,000 COVID-19 cases to date, 366,449 assumed recoveries, 26,935 active cases and 3,681 deaths, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Pittsburg County totaled 4,170 cumulative cases, 3,860 assumed recoveries, 32 deaths and 278 active cases, per the OSDH.

OSDH also has reported 394,283 prime doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered as of Feb. 3, with 58,245 Oklahomans having completed the two-dose series.

When asked if he partnered with a grower or another marijuana business for the promotion, Monks said he did not.

“This is strictly Bud’s,” he added.

The Pot for Shots program is one of the many outreach programs and causes supported by the dispensary.

According to a social media post by Bud’s Craft Cannabis, the dispensary donated $500 each to the McAlester fire and police departments for personal protective equipment, $500 to the Southeastern Oklahoma Food Bank and $420 to the McAlester Regional Health Center Foundation’s “Wigging out for a Cause.” It also donated $110 dollars to the Emergency Youth Shelter, $660 to the Pittsburg County Animal Shelter, and another $2,887 to the hospital for PPE.

Monks said another donation will be given to the Boys and Girls Club of McAlester this week after “Thankful Tuesday,” where the business donates 5% of its sales to a local cause.

“It come out to $250,” said Monks.

According to Monks, the Pot for Shots program will go on for a couple of months.

“We are going to be doing this program until April for sure,” he said.

The state remains in Phase 2 of its vaccination plan with first responders and health care workers who provide outpatient care to COVID-19 patients and Oklahomans over the age of 65 currently eligible to receive the vaccine.

Oklahomans who wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can visitwww.vaccinate.oklahoma.gov to signup for appointments or to receive an email when the person is eligible for vaccination.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is currently in Phase 3 of its vaccination plan with those eligible being current patients with a Certified Degree of Indian Blood age 40 and older and their household members who have a CDIB card, and teachers and healthcare workers with their CDIB card.

A special vaccination event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Choctaw Nation Stigler Clinic. To schedule an appointment for the event in Stigler, call 800-349-7026, ext. 6, and choose Stigler as your clinic.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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