Compliance starts and ends with identification.

Checking a customer’s I.D. seems pretty straightforward: a quick look at the birthday to be sure they’re 21 or older, and they’re good to go. Not so fast. How do you know whether the I.D. is recognized by the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED)? How do you know you are staying legal when selling marijuana?

I Need to See Some Identification

If a business sells to a minor, it could be looking at heavy fines and even the loss of their license, and out of operation. Here are a few tips for ensuring I.D. compliance when selling marijuana. Become an I.D. checking whiz and steer clear of trouble. Under Colorado law, any adult (21+) can buy up to one ounce of recreational cannabis in a transaction per day. Colorado recently passed a law limiting one transaction per day. Like most states, all Colorado I.D.s issued to adults 21 and over are horizontal I.D.s – with the longest edges at the bottom and top of the card. Vertical cards are for minors.

Check I.D…Every Time…Every Sale…Without Exception

Familiarity breeds contempt as they say. Doing the same thing day after day can lead to sloppy results. And when it comes to the law, a sloppy job causes fines and loss of revenue. So, when you’re selling marijuana, get it right EVERY TIME. Many industries have systems where they follow the same set of procedures each and every time. What often helps these procedures go smoothly is touching each item on the list of steps or touching what is being fixed after the task is completed.

First Off, Is the I.D. One of These?

  • A U.S. passport
  • A valid state driver’s license – No, temporary paperwork, even if issued by a governmental agency
  • A valid state I.D. card
  • An operator’s, chauffeur’s or similar type driver’s license, issued by any state within the United States or any U.S. Territory
  • A military I.D. card
  • An enrollment card issued by the governing authority of a federally recognized Indian tribe located in the state of Colorado
  • Or another valid government-issued picture I.D. that shows the holder is a Colorado (or another state) resident

Foolproof System for I.D. Compliance

If you lose focus while checking, start over again.

  1. Check the condition of the I.D. card. The card shouldn’t be flimsy and the printing needs to be crisp and sharp. You should also check that the photograph of the person looks like it is a part of the card.
  2. Age. Next, find the date of birth (DOB) section on the card. An easy method for quickly determining whether the prospective purchaser is of age is to perform the following calculation: Subtract 21 from the current year (for example, 2018 minus 21 equals 1997). Then consider the birthday if the person was born in 1997. Any DOB prior to the current day will be 21+.
  3. Check the printed name on the card.
  4. Locate the signature on the card.
  5. Find the address.
  6. Look at the expiration date on the card. Compare the date on the card with the current date.
  7. Check out the individual who is in front of you. The photograph on the card obviously needs to match the person using it. Use this time to confirm personal details (e.g. hair color, eye color, weight, height, gender, etc.).

You’re Now Safe to Begin Selling Marijuana

Once you have gone through the above series of steps, you are good to go. But don’t be afraid to stop the transaction if something is amiss. If so, ask for another form of I.D. But don’t accept: VA cards, offender cards, or international I.D. cards.

What the Heck Does a License from Tennessee look like?

You know what your own state’s driver’s license looks like. But what about the other 49 states? Out-of-state residents can buy cannabis. How are you supposed to know if it’s legit or fake?

There is an official “I.D. Checking Guide” updated every year with full-color I.D. images for all 50 states and Canada. The guide will show you full-color images of every license, with all pertinent info (e.g. state seal, minor/adult layout, security features, raised text, holographic elements, and expiration date specifics). Ensure I.D. compliance by checking each and every license the same way. You’ll have 100% consistency, 100% legal sales, and 100% compliance.

Library Cards and Credit Cards

Although a library card may show you the customer is an avid reader, which is certainly commendable, library cards, as well as credit cards, club membership cards, etc., are a no-go because they don’t prove residency or identity.

What About Medical Marijuana Purchases?

The I.D. process for selling marijuana to medical card holder patients is pretty much the same as for recreational. But a medical registration card must be shown along with a valid I.D. This official Registry Card identifies a patient permitted to buy medical marijuana.

Medical cards must have the following elements:

  • Name
  • Medical Marijuana Patient Registry Number
  • Photo
  • Current Address
  • Not Expired
  • Birthday with an age of 18+ (Under 18 are allowed if parents send a consent form to the state)

Remember that some minors have medical cards. But minors can only enter a medical dispensary if they’re with a parent or caregiver. And one of these people must also show I.D.

Make Compliance a Standard Procedure

Whether you are selling recreational or medical marijuana, it is critical that you follow a clear I.D. checking process each and every time you are selling marijuana. Stay compliant and stay in business. And then to take that next step in growing your business, contact Pinnacle Consultation. Partner with the experts in compliance, accounting, training, operations, and more. Schedule a consultation today or call (719) 330-5301.