7 Denver Cannabis Shops Busted for Selling to Minors

Denver Police announced this week that seven cannabis stores in the city were cited for selling to minors as part of a wide-ranging sting operation, giving the city’s recreational marijuana industry a black eye.

As a result of the sting – which involved 30 shops – the overall compliance rate for the state’s marijuana industry fell to 91% vs. 100% previously, according to a local TV report. That’s about the same compliance rate as liquor stores.

A previous sting in 2014 found no violations, according to the report.

Seven employees were ticketed at the shops and charged with a class 1 misdemeanor for selling cannabis to a person under 21. The shops that were busted in the sting operation include The Herbal Cure, The Healing House, Pure Medical Dispensary, LaContes Clone Bar, Herbs 4 You, Mile High Green Cross and Higher Expectations.

Though the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division didn’t indicate whether the shops would lose their business licenses as a result of the sting, that is a possible outcome. Denver Police said they have filed administrative cases with the city attorney’s office to further investigate the seven businesses, and the state is also taking a closer look at the shops.

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11 comments on “7 Denver Cannabis Shops Busted for Selling to Minors
  1. Joanie Bell on

    They should black ball these bud tenders from the industry. We don’t need these types making it harder to move forward. The industry is already under a microscope looking for any reason to ban it.

    • Guy on

      Couldn’t disagree with you more. Do you really think the shop owners encouraged sales to minors. C’mon…the only real issue is the quality of the employees.

      • Kim Kole on

        I think she was saying that the budtenders should be held responsible and banned from the industry, not the stores themselves.

      • Bro'sky on

        You should really work on your reading comprehension.

        Joanie explicitly said “bud tenders” not shop owners. That means she’s referring to the employees. You’re literally agreeing with her.

    • CatchFireCX on

      This is exactly why we provide 3rd party age compliance checks, similar to work we’ve done for the alcohol and tobacco industries, to ensure compliance in dispensaries before such things occur…because sometimes you THINK you know what’s happening in your stores, but it’s not always the case, and not knowing can have serious consequences.

  2. THX 1138 on

    “Charged with a class 1 misdemeanor for selling cannabis to a person under 21”, that’s it. Lose of operating licensee is a given.
    I say make it a Felony to sell to someone under 21. At this stage in the industry, these actions are not welcome. Other could be, might be states opponent’s will use this to their advantage.
    Make it a “Felony”. IMHO

  3. Doc Deadhead on

    Agreed Guru!

    The only saving grace here is the numbers are the same as alcohol sales to minors.

    At least they are not worse than alcohol.

    I mean after all these ARE potheads at the register and they do no worse than (fairly) sober alcohol store cashiers!

    After all, what we want is similar to alcohol regulation, adults only, home grow and safe access so we should be equal to or better than the alcohol statistics.

    Remember, these stings used people that are 20 but easily look 26-28.

    I used to have a cigarette vending route and lost one third of it to a ‘sting’, they(Catholic Human Services and the State Police) sent in a 17 year old girl that looked 25 and she would flirtingly ask the bartender for change for the cigarette machine.

    The store is only as good as it’s most easily distracted employees.

  4. Rick Fague on

    Since the closest analogue to the MJ industry is the alcohol industry, the sensible route would seem to be to treat MJ retailers no differently than alcohol retailers in terms of fines and/or penalties in cases like these.

  5. Jason VanLuven on

    The marijuana industry, for the most part, is a self regulated industry. Most don’t have proactive solutions. Unless people take action to be like every other industry, they will never be treated like a serious industry. Being treated like alcohol is an easy thing to say but is it really an easy thing to do? Age requirements are hands down one of the most important things and for the most part, we’ve got that covered. An issue that needs to be looked at more closely is something like a proof based system. The end user needs to be considered here. Alcohol is easy. 100 proof 50% alcohol. How do we come up with a system for marijuana? 15% THC of one strain is going to be different than 15% THC of another. It’s tough. Sorry to rant on but I’m a safety professional so…

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