It's not quite free but drug dealers in Marseille are rewarding their regular cannabis customers. Photo: Dave H/Flickr
Drug dealers in the southern port city of Marseille made headlines in France on Thursday thanks to their business venture of launching loyalty cards for their customers.
When buying cannabis from the Marseille dealers, customers are given a rewards card including the product price list, opening hours (11am to midnight), and a message that says “We look forward to seeing you in the neighbourhood, thanks for your loyalty”.
“I thought I was hallucinating,” one buyer told regional paper La Provence.
“I thought I was at a pizzeria or something.”
Indeed, the card seems exactly like something a pizza or coffee shop would offer, with ten unstamped squares on the opposite side and another typed message explaining that customers get a discount of €10 after all boxes were filled.
One dealer, speaking to the paper on condition of anonymity, said that the idea had created a real stir in the city.
“It went around on the internet and got a crazy buzz going,” the dealer said.
“Now everyone's coming to the neighbourhood to see it with their own eyes.”
He added that the move had landed him more customers, especially considering no one else was offering such a loyalty service in Marseille.
Local residents, however, are less than impressed.
“This isn't funny to me at all,” said one young mother. “It just goes to show that anything goes around here.”
Organised drug dealing is a major problem in the southern city, with 300 policemen carrying out a sting operation on a gang of 20 dealers as recently as Monday, reported French channel BFM TV.