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Did Washington’s 2nd Retail Cannabis Compliance Check Go Better Than Its 1st Attempt?

August 4, 2015

…yes, but there’s still room for improvement.

In May we covered Washington state’s first series of underage compliance checks to determine whether retail cannabis businesses were checking IDs and prohibiting sales to anyone under the age of 21. Unlike Colorado, who passed its first compliance checks with flying colors, the Evergreen State wasn’t quite so fortunate and scored an 82% compliance rate (with four of 22 stores being reprimanded for selling cannabis to underage shoppers). So how’d the state fare two months later?

This time around, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board tested a larger number of retail stores. Unfortunately, 19 stores failed the compliance check and were caught selling product to minors. However, the overall compliance rate increased to 88% overall, which is better than May’s 82% figure but still noticeably shy of the state’s lofty goal of 100%.

Meanwhile, Colorado is facing a bit of a sophomore slump with its own compliance checks, with two retail stores in Aspen getting cited for selling product to underage customers. Despite the setback, of approximately 130 total underage compliance checks conducted in Colorado since January 2014, nine violations have been issued, resulting in an overall compliance rate of 93%. You’ve got some catching up to do, Washington, not just for bragging rights, but to set a good example for the rest of the country that continues to gauge the aftermath of cannabis legalization.