Study of Five U.S. Cities reveals that Dispensaries strictly enforce ID verification laws
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Study of Five U.S. Cities reveals that Dispensaries strictly enforce ID verification laws

Many are familiar with the strict compliance protocols that cannabis retailers must follow in America. This is a young industry. The U.S. cannabis industry must adhere to a variety of rules set by state cannabis officials. This is in part to ensure that they verify ID and ensure that the products are not sold to minors. This study addresses this need by conducting point-of-sale audits examining regulatory compliance (e.g., age verification, signage), advertising/promotional strategies, products, and pricing…” authors state in the abstract.A team of investigators affiliated with George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health conducted point-of-sale audits of 150 randomly selected recreational dispensaries in Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, and Seattle, 30 for each city. The audits were conducted in summer 2022. Most retailers had signs indicating restricted access (87.3%), on-site consumption (73.3%) and distribution to minors (53.3%). The majority of retailers also posted warnings about cannabis use while pregnant and nursing (72%), followed closely by health risks (38%), impacts upon children/youth (18.7%), and DUI (14%). In contrast, 28.7% of retailers posted health claims about cannabis, and 20.7% had “youth oriented signage” and 18% had products with youth-oriented packaging. Price promotions were very common, particularly price specials (75.3%), weekly, monthly and daily specials (66.7%), and signage about membership programs (39.3%). One-fourth of stores had signs and promotions advertising curbside pickup (28%) or online ordering (25.3%). 64.7% of the audited stores had social media and website promotions. Investigators also examined the product selections offered by retailers. The most popular cannabis products were e-liquids (38%), oils (24.7%) and edibles (58%). Joints (54%) was the most expensive. More than 81% of retailers sold vaporizers, rolling papers and glass, like hookahs, water pipes and bongs; 22.6% sold CBD products.”Marketing strategies differed across cities, reflecting differences in state-specific regulations and/or gaps in compliance/enforcement,” investigators wrote. “Findings underscore that there is a need for ongoing cannabis retail surveillance to inform future regulatory or enforcement efforts,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said in a blog post. “Illicit marijuana providers do not ask for or check ID, but licensed businesses do.” The age verification numbers are consistent in previous research. One 2022 study that focused on California found that dispensaries adhered to ID policy 100% of the time among randomly selected retailers. One reason could be that recreational marijuana outlets in California are licensed to sell marijuana to underage customers.


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