On about 600 occasions in 2019, state marijuana industry regulators sent hired operatives, aged 18 to 20, into Colorado dispensaries to check that the law barring sales to people under 21 was being followed.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and in 2020 state regulators reported only 118 of those checks. Last year, the number dropped to 80. This year, the Marijuana Enforcement Division says it’s on pace for 52 checks, having completed 14 through March.
The reported compliance rate was above 95% each year, but some state lawmakers say the drop-off in total checks is alarming — and they told the division’s leaders that directly in a state Senate committee hearing late last month.