A company selling medical marijuana in Canada has made quite a splash after releasing a novelty Advent calendar filled with cannabis goods.
Coast to Coast Medicinals started operating earlier this year, but the business really took off after launching pre-orders for their unique cannabis calendar - and the company is taking advantage of the transition period in Canada as the government works on tidying up its cannabis laws.
Marijuana for medical use has been legal in Canada since 2001. While it's still unlawful to have it for personal use, the government has been actively working on legalising recreational cannabis with a potential start date on July 1, 2018.
Taking advantage of this legislative gap, plenty of marijuana dispensaries have been operating in the 'grey area' without repercussions, including the unlicensed Coast to Coast Medicinals.
"We just wanted something fun and different for adults," business owner Lorilee Fedler told Geordon Omand from The Canadian Press.
Coast to Coast medicinals sells everything from cannabis flowers to various edibles including candy, chocolate, and even freeze pops. The Advent calendar is a collection of 24 small boxes containing either flowers, or edibles, or a mix of both.
Even though it's garnered a lot of press, the cannabis holiday calendar isn't particularly groundbreaking - Seattle-based licensed marijuana dispensary Dockside Cannabis were already selling their ADVENTure calendar last year.
Fedler told the media that police have not contacted her about the business and she doesn't expect a crackdown, even though technically the calendars are illegal.
"The industry is a zoo really in Canada. It's illegal but a lot of people do call it the grey area, even though it's black and white. It's pretty obvious," cannabis consultant and legal expert Eric Nash told Yvette Brend at CBC News.
According to experts, the fact such a calendar even exists just demonstrates the current gaps in Canadian law regarding marijuana regulation.
"We're talking about a product that has not gone through quality testing," Rebecca Jesseman from the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction told The Canadian Press.
[S]o there's no way to be certain as to what's in the product in terms of the levels of THC and other cannabinoids, so what the level of intoxication will be."
With hundreds of calendars already in the mail, Fedler has been raking it in from the unexpected publicity for her business, so from a marketing perspective it's been a huge win for her.
Meanwhile, just last week the government department Health Canada released a consultation paper proposing new cannabis regulations, including restricted promotion and health warning on the labelling.
Use of medical marijuana has been growing around the world, with studies showing that patients prefer cannabis over opioids for pain management, although there's little evidence it can help with chronic pain or PTSD.
Additionally, the US Food and Drug Administration recently issued a reminder that cannabidiol, the main component of the marijuana plant, definitely doesn't cure cancer.
But for the hundreds of Canadians looking for relief from specific ailments (the calendars are not sold outside the country) this would be a relaxing way to close off an eventful year.