We monitored ID scans across our entire customer base for one month, amounting to more than 8,000,000 scanned IDs. The results, published in the inaugural IDScan.net Fake ID Report were shocking. 

Although across all industries, roughly 0.52% of IDs were flagged as suspicious, amongst dispensaries, that number climbed to between 2% and 5%. 

Broadly, studies have shown that dispensaries largely perform some type of age verification, there is no standard for exactly what the age verification process must entail. Only three states require ID scanning, so for the rest of the cannabis retail market, visual inspection of ID meets regulatory thresholds. But is it enough when as many as 1 in 20 customers at busy cannabis retailers could be using fraudulent identification? 


Why age verification matters for dispensaries

Fines and penalties for failing to properly verify age are simply much more expensive and devastating for cannabis businesses than for other types of age-restricted businesses such as casinos or bars. Because cannabis remains federally illegal, and because of cultural perceptions around cannabis consumption, regulatory bodies and state legislatures have created a much more punitive regulatory environment which provides little room for retailer error when it comes to age verification. 

A few state laws highlight the stark difference in penalties for underage sales of alcohol and underage sales of cannabis. 


Penalty for sale of alcohol to a person under the age of 21

First offense

Penalty for sale of cannabis to a person under the age of 21

First offense

New Jersey

$1,000 fine

$500,000 fine


$100 fine

$15,000 fine


$1000 fine

$25,000 fine

If each dispensary is serving just 100 customers every 24 hours, that represents between 2 and 5 …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

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