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State Report: Tougher To Buy Marijuana Underage Than Tobacco And Alcohol

By Mark Ackerman

DENVER (CBS4) – 95% of Colorado dispensaries passed the Marijuana Enforcement Division's underage compliance tests, according to the agency's 2017 annual report.

The MED sent underage operatives undercover 264 times to dispensaries across the state. Out of those 264 compliance checks, the underage operative was able to purchase marijuana 13 times, or roughly 5% of their attempts.  Colorado 'adult-use' dispensaries are only allowed to sell marijuana to adults 21 years and older with a valid ID.

"While we're pleased that the percentage of licensees passing underage compliance checks increased from 2016, that number still isn't good enough," said Jim Burack, MED Director.

MED Director Jim Burack said he's pleased with the increase in compliance but says 95%, "still isn't good enough."

"We'll continue to increase the frequency of our enforcement efforts and further educate marijuana licensees on their operational requirements vital to protecting public health and safety," Burack said.  "Importantly, business licenses are subject to discipline, including revocation, if management is not diligent about underage enforcement and associated employee training."

"The risks for non-compliance are significant," said Kristi Kelly of the Marijuana Industry Group.  "It's no surprise that the legal licensees and employees in this state place a priority on making sure that legal cannabis stays in the hands of legal buyers.

For context, 89% percent of liquor stores passed underage compliance tests for alcohol. 94% of stores passed underage compliance tests for tobacco.

Mark Ackerman is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. Follow him on Twitter @ackermanmark

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