Amid the blood supply shortage that the American Red Cross calls a "national crisis," the Greenhouse of Walled Lake is giving away a free pre-roll to those who show they donated blood.
Owner Jerry Millen is collaborating with UBaked Cannabis Edibles of Burton on the "Pot for Plasma" promotion in an effort to reach a new audience and raise awareness of the shortage.
"Hopefully people will go (give) blood from the fact that we're raising awareness, not just to get a free joint," Millen said. "But if that's the case, if somebody gives blood to get a free joint, then hey, let's do it."
The promotion will begin on Jan. 18 and run until Feb. 27. Everyone age 21 and over is eligible, as long as they have proof they have donated blood or plasma, such as a sticker or a bandage. Recipients do not need to purchase anything from the store.
"We're not gonna be real picky about making sure people gave blood, if somebody comes in and says, 'Hey, I gave blood,' I'm going to give them a free roll," he said. "Because, I mean, it's just about raising awareness."
A pre-roll at the store usually costs between $10 and $20, Millen said.
Open for nearly three years, the dispensary provides both medicinal and recreational marijuana. Millen noted he hopes the giveaway will also promote the benefits of marijuana and encourage federal legalization.
This isn't the first promotion Millen has done, he did a similar "pot for shots" where those who showed proof of a COVID-19 vaccine got a free joint.
The idea was a success: They gave away 30,000 pre-rolls during the vaccination promotion.
If "pot for plasma" is equally successful, it would be a great help to Michigan hospitals.
At Beaumont Royal Oak, Dr. Craig Fletcher said the blood bank is "critically low" on supply, especially Type O.
"We like to usually keep about a five- to six-day supply on hand, and currently we are in about a one-day supply," Fletcher said. "So, we're very low and we're relying on our suppliers to get us blood on a daily basis to kind of just keep up, we're just trying to keep up at this point."
Fletcher urged everyone who can to donate — each donation can save up to three lives.
"Get out and donate, that's the best thing to help our patients, our cancer patients our surgical patients, our pediatric patients that require blood transfusions, get out there and donate even if you've never done it before," Fletcher said. "The whole process only takes about an hour. I'm a regular blood donor, and it's a very easy process, a very safe process. ... It's just critical that people get out either (to) Versiti.org or through the American Red Cross, whichever one suits them to get out there. You can really make a difference and save people's lives through just a donation just a little bit of your time."
Find a donor center near you:
The American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html
Contact Emma Stein: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @_emmastein.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Donate blood and get a free joint at Walled Lake dispensary