Now that marijuana is legal in a variety of places, a lot of people are concerned about teens and access. And while this positive mentality surrounding the drug might push young people to try it out or to fear it less, legal retailers, at least those in Colorado, are doing everything in their power to prevent this from happening.
On Tuesday, Colorado regulators shared there’s a 98% rate of compliance with requiring people to show IDs before entering cannabis retailers. The report shows that 190 compliance checks have been done so far this year, with only four instances failing to ask for IDs.
Colorado state laws make it clear that non-compliance with this law can quickly lead to a lot of trouble for these businesses, with employees caught putting their cannabis licenses at risk and facing up to a $100,000 fine.
“Unauthorized sale of Regulated Marijuana to an individual under the age of 21 is considered a license violation affecting public safety,” said the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED). “Businesses must remain vigilant in establishing internal measures to prevent underage access, and as the MED continues to monitor licensee compliance, it will evaluate business practices licensees have adopted to prevent unauthorized/underage sales.”
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Colorado asks its cannabis retailers to vet everyone that comes into the shop and actively look for people who are perusing the store and look like they’re younger than 21, verifying their age with an ID check. Retailers have the power to turn people away if they think their ID is fake.
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While surprising in its cohesiveness, the data shared by Colorado has been backed by other studies that make it clear that legalizing cannabis doesn’t increase underage drug use.
“Legalized cannabis retail sales might be followed by the increased occurrence of cannabis onsets for older adults, but not for underage persons who cannot buy cannabis products in a retail outlet,” wrote the authors of a study on legalization and underage cannabis consumption published this year.