Cannabis company offers discounts for voter registration

BOULDER — A cannabis company is offering discounts to adults who register to vote ahead of the midterm elections.

Terrapin Care Station, the trade name for Elpis Strategies Inc., has launched a “Weed Loves Voters” campaign. In it, the Boulder-based marijuana company is offering 10 percent discounts to people who register and then show proof of their registration when they come to buy merchandise.

“No matter where you land on the political spectrum, participation in our nation’s democratic process is more important than ever,” said Chris Woods, founder and owner of Terrapin Care Station. “Passion is already strong this election cycle, but we wanted to further encourage participation in our elections.

“Political leanings may be polarized,” Woods continued. “But everyone should agree that at its core, election participation is critical to a sound democracy.”

Terrapin Care Station will give a 10 percent discount at its five stores operating in Colorado. Stores are located in Boulder, Denver and Aurora. The discount is currently running ahead of when ballots should begin being mailed to voters on Oct. 15.  

Lynn Bartels, spokeswoman for the Colorado Secretary of State’s office, which manages elections, said that it is permissible for companies to offer discounts to promote registration. It is not permissible for companies to pay people to vote, however.

Terrapin will keep the discount running through Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The deadline to register online and by mail in Colorado is Monday, Oct. 29. The deadline to register to vote in person is Nov. 6, meaning people can register and vote on Election Day in Colorado.

Cannabis has emerged as an important issue in Colorado, so it makes sense that the industry has taken a more prominent role in encouraging election participation, Terrapin said in its announcement. Following and leading up to the June primary in Colorado, national reports surfaced of the growing importance of the cannabis vote. Political experts agree that “this feels like a tipping point on marijuana legalization.”

Nationally, advocacy groups like HeadCount, a voter engagement organization, announced the “Cannabis Voter Project,” which aims at educating Americans on how voting can impact cannabis policy. Terrapin Care Station is a partner of the group, using social media to let people know that “when the cannabis community votes, we all win.”

In order to be eligible for the Terrapin Care Station discount in Colorado, voters must show proof of voter registration at the point of sale. The promotion only applies to adults 21 and over, so as to comply with Colorado cannabis law.  

Terrapin said that interested customers can visit to register, then take a screenshot of their registration status. Customers can cut off the part that identifies party affiliation — that information is not necessary to qualify for the discount. Staff at Terrapin will accept the screenshot as evidence of registration.