Disappointing news has been announced from Denver, CO where a city police sting resulted in seven recreational dispensaries being cited for selling cannabis to persons under the legal age of 21.

A total of 30 dispensaries were investigated in the operation. Seven people received tickets and a class 1 misdemeanor charge for selling to a person younger than 21. Violating dispensaries could face steep penalties, including license suspensions and heavy fines.

All previous sting operations in Denver resulted in zero violations. However, recent violations in Aspen and Washington state have raised some eyebrows toward the industry.

According to Lewis Koski of the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division, these violations will reduce the industry’s overall statewide compliance rate to 92%.

“It may be a little too soon to know exactly why that is but what that tells us is that we need to continue to partner with the regulated industry to make sure that they’re really clear,” Koski said.

While some cannabis industry organizations have been critical of the violations, others feel the industry is operating as expected.

Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project stated,

“Really this is how the system’s intended to work to make sure that people are asking for ID, and, in most cases, it keeps them out and to punishes those who fail to do that,”

Tvert continued,

“Prior to the establishment of these stores and this system – every person selling marijuana failed to ask for ID. So what we’re seeing now is a massive improvement.”

According to Koski, compliance rates for the alcohol and tobacco industries average around 91 or 92 percent, practically the same as cannabis.

The seven locations involved in the sting were:

The Herbal Cure 985 S. Logan St.
LaContes Clone Bar 105 E. 7th Ave.
The Healing House 2383 S. Downing St.
Herbs 4 You 20 E. 9th Ave.
Mile High Green Cross 852 N. Broadway St.
Higher Expectations 1332 S. Cherokee St.
Pure Medical Dispensary 505 W. 40th Ave.

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