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Pot dispensary offers free weed for trash cleanup

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The owner of Summit Medical Marijuana in Gardiner, Maine, decided to help clean up his community by offering customers pot in exchange for their trash. The event was considered a success with more than 100 trash bags filled. (Miguel Rojo/AFP/Getty Images)

Looking for an incentive to clean up your neighborhood? One business in Maine has found the answer: offering residents free marijuana in exchange for picking up trash.

Dennis Meehan, the owner of Summit Medical Marijuana in Gardiner, Maine, decided to help clean up his community when he heard of a marijuana store in Colorado offering customers pot in exchange for their trash.

“Bring us back the full trash bag, and we give them a gift of cannabis,” Meehan told WCSH-TV. “[I heard of it in] Colorado — there was a town that did this. They had a great response to this. So I was hoping to do the same thing in Maine.”

The Maine dispensary gave every person two trash bags. For every bag of trash they brought back to the store, they received one gram of marijuana.

According to Meehan, cleaning up the community also gives him an opportunity to educate people about marijuana and its benefits.

"It's profound,” Meehan said. “The research. There's a whole world of science out there. If you started the research today, 10 years from now you'd still be doing the research. … When you see this plant have an incredibly life-changing impact on somebody that has given up on life, or somebody that has been given up on by modern medicine — and you can bring them back to life and give them a quality of life. It doesn't just affect that patient, it affects every single person in the family.”

The event was considered a success with more than 100 trash bags filled. People from as far away as southern Maine attended the event.

"Gifting marijuana is something my family has been doing for years as caregivers. A big part of Maine's marijuana program is making medicine available to people who otherwise may not have been able to afford it," Meehan told WMTW-TV. "At the end of the day, it isn't about money. It's about the need. It's about the community."

Now, Meehan hopes to work with dispensaries across the state to plan a statewide cleanup day.

Currently, it is legal to gift marijuana in the state of Maine.

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