Tuesday June 3, 2014

By CO Pot Guy

Customer privacy and recreational marijuana stores Education

Many visitors often wonder what type of customer information marijuana stores collect about them.  They also worry if the store is required to submit customer information to government officials.   

Good news, the State of Colorado does not require customers to provide a store with any personal information other than display a state issued ID to ensure they are 21+. 

Amendment 64 explicitly states:

"The department shall not require a consumer to provide a retail marijuana store with personal information other than government-issued identification to determine the consumer’s age, and a retail marijuana store shall not be required to acquire and record personal information about consumers other than information typically acquired in a financial transaction conducted at a retail liquor store."

Essentially, they are trying to model the requirements after those of a liquor store, where you need to provide ID to prove you are over 21, but the data is not collected or stored.  There is no central database tracking your visits to stores, nor any list that is supplied to any government agency.    

Although recreational marijuana stores aren’t required to collect your information, they aren’t prohibited from doing so either. As a result, polices regarding customer privacy vary from store to store.  Some stores require your name and contact information if paying via credit card, others will have a tablet next to the register to optionally enter your phone number or email to receive newsletters or join a rewards program.

Most stores are cognizant that customers are concerned about privacy, so they try to be open about what information they do collect and their policies.  Others aren’t as transparent and will enter your driver’s license information into their customer database without asking when you check-in.  Your best bet if you are concerned is to ask what their policy is up-front before handing over your ID.  If you disagree with their policy, let them know your concerns.  If they can't accommodate you, simply take your business elsewhere. 

One final thing you should be aware of is Colorado requires recreational marijuana stores to have cameras recording transactions at the cash register, as well as at the entrances and exits.  The footage from these cameras must be preserved for 40 days and can be inspected by state enforcement agents upon demand.  

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