One of the most disheartening and frustrating things to me in the legal cannabis industry is when dispensaries fail at underage compliance checks. It’s worth noting that a vast majority of dispensaries in legal states have never failed an underage compliance check, but that is a fact that is often lost on mainstream media and cannabis opponents.
For those that are unaware of what an underage compliance check entails, it’s basically a sting conducted by regulators and/or law enforcement in which people under 21 years of age go into a dispensary to see if the dispensary will sell products to them or not. Dispensaries that check ID and refuse to sell to the underage sting participant pass the compliance check, dispensaries that make the mistake of selling to the participant fail the compliance check.
Cannabis opponents and some members of the mainstream media are not interested in how many dispensaries pass the compliance check, they are only interested in the ones that fail. These mainstream media outlets and cannabis opponents put as big of a magnifying glass on the failed dispensaries as possible, and try to make it seem as if the dispensaries that failed are completely representative of the entire industry. They point to the failed compliance checks as ‘proof’ that cannabis should have never been legalized.
Obviously, when that happens cannabis opponents and mainstream media outlets are just trying to spread reefer madness propaganda in the hopes that it scares people into thinking that clinging to cannabis prohibition is a good idea. Unfortunately, some people believe the false hype. Because of that, it is the vital responsibility of not only cannabis dispensaries to always check IDs and only sell to people over 21 years old, but also cannabis consumers to comply with all requests for ID as well.
Every time that I go into a dispensary I already have my ID ready to show dispensary employees and encourage all other cannabis consumers to take that same approach. I don’t care if I live to be 99 years old and a dispensary asks to see my ID, I will never think of it as being an inconvenience. Every dispensary employee needs to ask every customer for their ID, without exception, and every customer needs to be quick and happy to comply with the request.
It does the industry a huge disservice when a customer tries to pout about being asked for their ID at a dispensary. It’s also disrespectful to the generations of activists that fought so hard to make the cannabis industry legal in the first place. Not only am I glad to show my ID every time that I go to a dispensary, even if it’s the exact same dispensary and budtender that I just saw the day before, but I am also very quick to thank budtenders that ask for my ID.
On some occasions, younger budtenders have apologized to me for asking for my ID, since I am obviously over 21 years old (Soon I will lap it!). I am always quick to interrupt them and inundate them with thanks for asking me for it. As I always explain to them, we are all in this together. Cannabis compliance is not just a one-way street that only applies to dispensaries. Responsible cannabis consumers play a role in compliance too. Do your part and have that ID ready at all times. If everyone takes that approach we will help move the industry and movement forward and help eliminate opponents’ opportunities to try to throw us under the bus.