Oakland’s Marijuana Scavenger Hunt Canceled, Thanks to Government Red Tape

CALIFORNIA:  The mysterious force behind the weed scavenger hunt announced for Saturday has revealed herself: she’s an entrepreneur from the East Coast, now head of a “tiny startup in Oakland.” And she has bad news: the authorities have stepped in, so there’s no more smartphone-powered weed giveaway on Saturday.

Flyers appearing in Oakland and 4×6 index cards dumped at Bay Area dispensaries last month advertised a treasure hunt, but with weed. For $35, seekers could join the “Bay Area Quest Hunt,” where those who found 50 “cards” hidden around the city would be rewarded with various amounts of medical cannabis: concentrates, edibles, flowers.

Though just a “soft launch,” the buzz was big, Dixon told SF Weekly late Thursday night, with bigger-than-expected ticket sales and 1,500 hits from a “less than $200 budget.” But alerted cops were pointed: you need a license for that kind of pot party, which is a clear instance of over-regulation, she said.

“The city is categorizing us as a business that is dispensing marijuana (much like a dispensary),” she wrote in an e-mail. “Bay Area Quest Hunt is NOT a cannabis business.