Selling Marijuana To Minors Hurts The Entire Industry And Reform

Some undercover sting operations were conducted at Washington recreational marijuana stores recently
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And some of the results were very disappointing. Whereas the stings in Colorado yielded no failures, Washington had four failures. That’s unacceptable. I always hate posting articles like this because I should be highlighting our victories, and not highlighting examples that will no doubt be used by marijuana opponents like Kevin Sabet.

But, I feel it’s necessary to share so that readers can see it as a type of public service announcement. Never, ever, ever sell marijuana to a minor. There’s simply no excuse for that to ever happen at a regulated recreational marijuana store. Everyone should be carded every time, no matter what age the person appears to be. I would never be offended getting carded at a recreational marijuana store, and would actually turn over my license gladly in order to help ensure that no minor gets access. Selling marijuana to a minor gives a black eye to the entire industry and movement, and is absolutely unacceptable. Below is the press release issued by the Washington State Liquor Control Board about the sting results:

Marijuana compliance checks: 4 of 22 recreational marijuana stores sell to minors
OLYMPIA – Four Western Washington recreational retail marijuana businesses recently failed compliance checks conducted by the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB). Officers, working with underage investigative aides, checked 22 businesses for sales of marijuana to minors. The first checks represent an 82 percent no-sales-to-minors compliance rate.

The four businesses will be cited for selling marijuana to minors. The individuals who sold the marijuana will be referred to their respective prosecuting attorney’s office for potential criminal prosecution.

First Marijuana Compliance Checks
The WSLCB and local authorities regularly conduct compliance checks of area businesses licensed to sell alcohol. The checks, conducted May 15-18 in Skagit, Snohomish, Kitsap, Pierce and Cowlitz Counties, were the first marijuana compliance checks. The checks followed a recent communication to all licensees that enforcement officers were beginning compliance checks and recommended best practices for avoiding an illegal sale.

Compliance checks are proven tools to reduce the sale of age-restricted products to minors. Investigative aides assist officers with compliance checks. These individuals are from 18 to 20 years old. They must either present their true identification or none at all if asked by a clerk.

Administrative Penalties
Liquor enforcement officers are empowered to issue Administrative Violation Notices to businesses that fail compliance checks. Fines or temporary license suspensions can be issued depending on the severity of the infraction or the frequency with which a business has been cited. Sales to minors are considered the most serious violations because they present a threat to public safety. Businesses cited for Sale to a Minor face a 10-day suspension or $2,500 fine. Businesses who receive three public safety violations within three years face license cancellation.

Businesses that sold marijuana to a minor

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Businesses that did not sell marijuana to a minor

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The WSLCB mission is to promote public safety and trust through fair administration and enforcement of liquor, tobacco and marijuana laws. Per 2015 legislation, on July 24, 2015, the agency will change its name to the Liquor and Cannabis Board. It will retain the WSLCB acronym.