Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan has ruled that it is illegal for businesses in the state to gift marijuana in any kind of commercial transaction. Donovan announced his ruling in an advisory released on Monday.

The ruling is in response to businesses that are trying to commercialize Vermont’s new recreational marijuana legalization law, known as Act 86. As soon as the law went into effect earlier this month, some companies began offering “free” marijuana in exchange for a steep delivery fee.

Other firms offered overpriced, usually inexpensive items such as stickers or jewelry that came with a “gift” of marijuana. Similar schemes attempting to take advantage of a gifting loophole have surfaced in Boston and Washington, D.C. Donovan ruled all such transactions in the state of Vermont are not permitted under Act 86.

“Act 86 does not legalize the sale of marijuana,” said Donovan. “Any transfer of marijuana for money, barter, or other legal consideration remains illegal under Vermont law. This includes a commercial transaction (i.e., an exchange of goods or services for money) with a purported “gift” of marijuana. Examples include: selling an item or service, like a bracelet or t-shirt with the “gift” of marijuana. Charging someone for

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