Californians can now check legal pot dealers using QR codes

U.S. & World

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California marijuana users can now turn to their smartphones to find out if a dispensary is legit.

The Bureau of Cannabis Control on Thursday announced a program encouraging licensed cannabis retailers to post QR codes in their store windows. The checkerboard codes can be scanned by a cellphone camera linking the reader to the bureau’s online license bureau.

That will allow consumers to verify that the store is licensed.

Consumers will be able to determine which retailers ”carry products that are tracked, tested, and legal,” Bureau Chief Lori Ajax said in a statement.

Officials said consumers without a QR code-enabled phone can also check a retailer’s license information by visiting the Bureau’s license search tool at CApotcheck.com.

California voters legalized marijuana sales to adults under Proposition 64, passed in 2016. However, state regulators have struggled to meet the demand for licensing, and many communities have either banned commercial sales or not set up rules for the legal market to operate.

In addition, legal shops continue to be undercut by a thriving illicit market, where consumers can avoid taxes that can approach 50% in some communities.

Last week alone, search warrants were issued against 45 illegal operators in Los Angeles, authorities said.

The QR code program was applauded by the United Cannabis Business Association, which represents licensed retailers.

Executive Director Ruben Honig called it a tool for consumer education.

“When voters approved Proposition 64, there was an immediate assumption that overnight, everywhere that sold cannabis was legal and safe,” Honig said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. California’s illicit market is nearly three times the size of its legal one and many consumers cannot tell the difference, leading them to unknowingly purchase untested and unregulated products that may put their health at risk.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Don’t Miss

Best of the Valley
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia
Pros Who Know

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.