Selling cannabis products to underage customers is a major compliance violation that very quickly cause your marijuana dispensary license to be suspended or revoked. There have been several instances of underage dispensary sales in Colorado and Oregon that have resulted in suspensions and even some arrests.
These types of infractions undercut the stability and legitimacy of cannabis retailers operating in states with legal recreational sales. Oregon has gone so far to increase the fines and extend the suspension period to 30 days. In this article, we’ll mention a ways to avoid serving underage customers in your marijuana dispensary so you never have to worry about this type of compliance violation.
Verify Upon Entry
The first place to you’ll want to verify a customer’s age is at check-in. Equipping your retailer receptionist with an ID scanner will be the first line of defense when preventing underage dispensary sales. Utilizing an all-in-one dispensary POS system that comes with a built-in ID scanner will verify the patrons age as well as access their customer profile with one swipe.
The receptionist must verify the customer’s age before allowing them to enter the sales floor. It is also a good idea to ask for a second form of identification if their driver's license is old, damaged, or doesn’t seem to be scanning correctly. Implementing these types of protocols can foil any attempt to enter underage.
Posting signs in highly visible areas to inform your clientele that identification is required before they can be served by budtenders will also deter minors. Placing multiple signs throughout the store will convey the seriousness of your age verification policy and also remind staff members to be diligent in checking IDs.
Installing signs in strategic spots such as the outside door, next to customer check-in, and close to check-out registers will keep your messaging consistent. Even reinforcing this using your dispensary digital signage will help avoid underage dispensary sales.
Setting up redundancy measures as a safeguard against underage dispensary sales is probably one of the most effective ways to protect your business investment. Rather than checking customer identification only at reception, verify it once more before check out to ensure your retailer won’t be caught in a compliance violation.
The Bureau of Cannabis Control allows the use of underage decoys to enforce cannabis regulations. Adding an additional layer of protection will give dispensary owners and staff peace of mind knowing that no one under the age of 21 will be sold cannabis products. Minor attempting to use false identification or sneak their way into the saleroom can be blacklisted from your storefront using your dispensary POS software.
The most valuable resource you have when attempting to prevent underage dispensary sales is your staff. Teaching your budtenders, receptionists, and security officers about the importance of validating customers will encourage them to stick to protocol. When there are failed attempts by minors to enter, educate your employees by showing them the false identification or explain how they tried to trick the system.
It’s always a good idea to start an employee orientation program to train recent hires about all of the compliance regulations and legal implications. Making them aware of common mistakes and pitfalls will help them identify problems before they affect your compliance. Empowering your employees with dispensary software tools that are foolproof will fend off underage attempts to purchase marijuana.