Dear Herb: Is it now legal to tip a delivery driver with weed, if the driver is above the legal age and no money is transferred?
People seem to appreciate being handed pre-rolled joints. — The Tipping Point
Dear Tipping: Ah, the timeless tradition of tipping the pizza guy with weed. I bet you’re a popular customer among your local delivery drivers.
Can such a tip be given legally in post-legalization Canada? I think it could.
You’ve already identified two key legal issues that could arise with this kind of herbal tipping: first, the tip recipient’s age. Both tipper and tippee would have to be old enough to legally possess cannabis — that’s 18 years old in Alberta or Quebec, and 19 years old in all other provinces and territories. (Note that Quebec’s government is currently working on a law that would raise the age for cannabis possession in that province to 21.)
I ran my armchair legal analysis by a real attorney, cannabis lawyer Matt Maurer of Torkin Manes. He emphasized that the entire food delivery transaction should be paid for in full before tipping with cannabis. Maurer said you absolutely shouldn’t try to give a driver cannabis as compensation for the food itself, and you also shouldn’t give the cannabis “as an inducement for something in the future, or compensation for something in the future — ‘I’ll give you this tip, but I expect my next pizza to be half off’.”
Maurer also said a cannabis tipper should make it clear that they’re giving the tip to the individual delivery driver, not to the company for which they deliver. That’s because it’s illegal for an adult to distribute cannabis to an organization under the Cannabis Act.
“But if it’s just for them personally for a job well done, it doesn’t seem on its face to violate the distribution rules, because you’re not giving it to an organization, you’re giving it to that person,” said Maurer.
This article was originally published in The Leaf Cannabis News. Visit The Leaf Cannabis News website to read the complete article.