California: Study Finds 100% of Marijuana Retailers Compliant with State’s Minimum Age Laws


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Licensed cannabis retailers in California are vigorously enforcing rules prohibiting young people’s entry into their facilities if they fail to show proof of age, according to a study commissioned by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the University of Chicago.

Researchers assessed whether retail cannabis facilities would service pseudo-underage buyers who failed to show proof of age. All 47 of the randomly selected retailers denied the patrons entry.

Authors concluded: “At 100 percent of the recreational marijuana outlets visited, the pseudo-underage patrons were required to show age identification to enter. It appears that California recreational marijuana outlets avoid selling to underage customers.”

The results are similar to those documented in other states, like Colorado and Oregon, where inspections have similarly found that nearly all retailers are compliant with age-restriction requirements.

Commenting on the study’s results, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “Regulation works. Illicit marijuana providers don’t ask for or check for ID, but licensed businesses most certainly do.”

An abstract of the study, “An examination of the legal marijuana use age and its enforcement in California, a state where recreational marijuana is legal,” is available online here. Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheet, “Societal Impacts of Cannabis Dispensaries/Retailers.”


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