California Proposes Emergency Regulations Requiring Cannabis Dispensaries to Display QR Code Certificates
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California Proposes Emergency Regulations Requiring Cannabis Dispensaries to Display QR Code Certificates

The rule is the latest move in the state’s fight against illicit cannabis sales.

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January 24, 2020

The California Bureau of Cannabis Control proposed emergency regulations Jan. 23 that would require state-licensed cannabis retailers to display their unique Quick Response (QR) Code certificates in their shop windows in an effort to crack down on illicit cannabis sales.

The QR Code certificate must also be carried with licensed businesses while transporting or delivering cannabis, according to a Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) press release. The code can be scanned by a smartphone’s camera and links to the BCC’s Online License Search, where the user can verify the retailer’s license status. The system also displays the retailer’s address and license location to protect against counterfeit information, according to the press release.

The proposed emergency regulations are meant to help consumers identify state-licensed cannabis retail stores, assist law enforcement and support the legal cannabis market.

“The proposed regulations will help consumers avoid purchasing cannabis goods from unlicensed businesses by providing a simple way to confirm licensure immediately before entering the premises or receiving a delivery,” Bureau Chief Lori Ajax said in a public statement. “These requirements will also assist law enforcement in distinguishing between legal and illegal transportation of cannabis goods.”

The BCC previously launched a voluntary QR Code campaign that encouraged cannabis licensees to post their QR Code certificates for consumers to scan when they visit licensed retailers in the state.

The proposed emergency rules require a minimum five-working day notice to the public, and the BCC will then file the regulations with the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). A five-day public comment period will then begin once the OAL publishes the proposed regulations as being “under review” on its website.