Adults 18 and older can now legally purchase, possess and consume cannabis, and it appears the state is successfully helping to keep the drug away from minors. According to a report by CBS News, a study has found that the state’s licensed cannabis shops are able to successfully keep minors from buying the drug.
The Los Angeles Times (LAT) recently broke a story claiming that California cannabis shops are blocking minors’ access to cannabis products. This is the headline: “Legal California cannabis shops are blocking sales to minors”. If you read the article, you’ll find: “Cannabis shops are legally permitted to refuse sale to people younger than 21, but many are refusing to do so.” The LAT headline, of course, is that “Cannabis shops are blocking sales to minors”.
California is in the midst of its first year of fully legal recreational cannabis sales, but there is one notable and disturbing caveat: the majority of licensed retailers are allowing teenagers to buy cannabis. While there is nothing wrong with teenagers smoking cannabis recreationally, it is concerning to see so many licensed retail shops selling the drug to minors. The state has already seen a number of policies cracking down on retailers that do not comply with the law, and the number of cannabis stores that are allowing teens to buy could decrease in 2018 if the current trend continues.. Read more about how many dispensaries can you visit in one day co and let us know what you think.Youth access to marijuana was a major stumbling block leading up to the passage of Proposition 64, which legalized marijuana use by adults in California. This was also cited as a reason to block billboards of cannabis companies on California highways. But it appears that vendors with a marijuana license are doing a good job of keeping the drug out of the hands of young people. You don’t have to take our Los Angeles marijuana lawyers’ word for it. That’s according to a new study commissioned by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Despite some isolated violations of state law (e.g., employees handing out free food samples), the analysis found that cannabis store employees were complying with the law, protecting minors, and keeping the store open. According to the study’s authors, the biggest loophole for underage cannabis purchases in California is found with unlicensed vendors. Remember, cone sales on the black market are three times higher than on the legal market. You don’t have to deal with regulations and taxes. They sell products that have not been tested for safety and quality, but which they can sell for less – and they do not always guarantee that the people they are selling to are of age. The proliferation of the black market in that state has served as a lesson for other states preparing to open a similar recreational cannabis industry.
Cannabis sales to minors prohibited in California
Businesses that sell cannabis to minors without a doctor’s recommendation for medical use face heavy fines: Up to six months in jail and a $500 fine for the first offense. But what really holds legal cannabis businesses back is that they risk losing their state licenses, which are incredibly competitive, take months to obtain, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. In Los Angeles, a licensed cannabis shop that even sets foot on the property of someone under the age of 21 can not only be fined, but have its license revoked. That’s why many of them ask for identification before you even enter. Operators who have invested time and money to get a legal license don’t want to risk it to sell to a teenager here and there. In addition, there is the possibility of liability. A business that sells a product to a minor that causes injury or pain to another may be held liable for that injury in civil court. This is a risk most shops are reluctant to take. Many of them are vigilant when it comes to recognizing fake IDs and other ways to evade the law.
Study of youth access to marijuana in California
To study how cannabis stores in California restrict sales to minors, the study authors recruited a 22-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman who looked young, and randomly visited nearly 50 recreational stores last January. They stopped at stores in San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Santa Ana. Each of the decoys attempted to enter the store without identification. They found that about 50% of stores require an ID outside the store. For the other half, identification was required at the entrance. In none of the shops you could buy decoys without a valid ID. About a dozen stores have posted signs at the entrance stating that customers must be over 21 to enter the store. Others put up signs in the store. Most had a guard and some had vendors checking documents. Some stores had electronic identity scanners, while others required staff to visually verify the cardholder’s identity and date of birth. Because most cannabis offenses are classified as misdemeanors, Southern California police don’t pay much attention to prosecuting them. However, they will carry out random age checks in licensed outlets. In Los Angeles, this issue is also being addressed by the city’s cannabis department. At the same time, the minimum age for the sale of alcohol, set at 21 across the country in 1984, is being enforced much more slowly. Even today, violations are frequent in various parts of the country. A recent analysis of underage alcohol sales in New York City found that 60% of stores were selling alcohol to minors without documentation. However, it is still believed that the introduction of a minimum age for drinking alcohol has been a positive thing and has probably saved thousands of lives on the road. But the cannabis and alcohol markets cannot always be compared like apples to apples. Since alcohol prohibition was abolished in 1933, there have been no real unlicensed alcohol vendors. The same cannot be said for the cannabis industry. In fact, it’s thriving in California. According to a survey by state law enforcement, eight out of 10 minors buy marijuana from an unlicensed vendor. Now that recreational use is legal, unlicensed sellers may feel more comfortable breaking the rules. Licensed shops will only be able to displace illegal operations in this state if more and more cities welcome the industry (thus fixing the current cannabis deserts) and lower taxes so that legal operations can become truly competitive. The Los Angeles-based CANNABIS LAW group represents manufacturers, dispensaries, suppliers, patients, doctors and people accused of marijuana use. Call us at 714-937-2050. Additional resources : Research: Licensed cannabis stores in California do not sell cannabis to minors, 7. April 2021, Brooke Staggs, The Orange County Register Other blog posts: California cannabis companies prepare for USPS ban on shipments of vaping products, 25. April 2021, Los Angeles Marijuana Advocate BlogA new study from the University of Georgia has found that licensed marijuana retailers in California are doing a better job of keeping marijuana away from children than most licensed tobacco retailers in the state. The study, which was published in the journal Tobacco Control, found that of the 14,000 retailers in California, only 1.8% had been sanctioned for selling to minors, compared to 6.9% of tobacco retailers.. Read more about do dispensaries track how much you buy and let us know what you think.
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