Hey cannabis retail outlets, the Washington Liquor Control Board is coming to make a purchase, and you’d better check ID. The LCB, soon to be the WA Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, recently sent young proxy agents into 22 licensed cannabis retail stores. 18 stores performed well, checking ID to make sure the purchaser was at least 21 years old. The remaining four were caught in violation for not checking.
The offenders were: Mary Mart (Tacoma), Emerald Leaves (Tacoma), Green City Collective (Everett) and Purple Haze (Everett). 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 can have their license revoked. Offending employees could
This is only the first major check by the WA LCB using agents as secret shoppers for cannabis, though the practice is standard for alcohol regulators nationwide. Ignorance is no excuse, businesses were recently sent letters to explain this impending, “surprise” check.
This goes to show the real need for education of company employees and aware management staff that continues to emphasize best practices. As just the first regulator check shows, anything less than truly consistent compliance is expensive for businesses. This may have been the first check, but it certainly isn’t the last.