There’s going to be a marijuana scavenger hunt in High Park, apparently

There’s going to be a marijuana scavenger hunt in High Park, apparently

A marijuana scavenger hunt in one of Toronto’s biggest and busiest parks sounds like (and may very well be) a terrible idea, but a Toronto pot entrepreneur plans on doing it anyway. What’s more, he makes a surprisingly reasonable case for the event’s existence.

Posters for the September 7 scavenger hunt have been circulating on Twitter. The ad features a picture of a treasure chest overflowing with weed, and it promises $25,000 in “marijuana and prizes.” The only contact information provided, aside from Twitter and Instragram handles, is a phone number with a British Columbia area code. It only accepts text messages.

The event, as it turns out, is the pet project of Chris (he withheld his last name during a phone interview), the 45-year-old owner of the Marijuana Information Bureau. He describes the MIB as one of a handful of medical-marijuana providers in Toronto that operate in a kind of legal twilight. These businesses, known as compassion centres, usually try to maintain low profiles, as a way of warding off interest from the police.

Chris said that he organized several treasure hunts and other pot-related events last year, none of which caused him any legal problems. He occasionally does Twitter giveaways, too. “My conversations with the police have all been really positive,” he said. “They really don’t have marijuana as a priority.”

He thinks the key to the event’s success is that, contrary to what the ads imply, it’s not possible for just anyone, regardless of age, to stumble on some weed. What participants hunt for are actually little envelopes with vouchers inside that can be redeemed for either a few grams of pot, a weed-infused edible treat or a piece of paraphernalia. “People who want to claim any of the marijuana prizes have to have a medical-marijuana card from any of the doctors here in Toronto,” Chris said. “There’s no actual marijuana hidden inside High Park.” The prizes are, for the most part, hidden in plain view.

Chris said he expects to give away about five pounds of marijuana, which would retail for between $15,000 and $20,000. He considers the event to be more than just a loss leader for his business. “I’m just trying to normalize [pot] a bit more,” he said. “I’m just trying to get people to come out to certain events and not be scared to be seen in public.”

The scavenger hunt is scheduled to take place on September 7, starting at noon, assuming the police continue to have other things to worry about. More details are on the poster.