Privacy has been a large concern for quite sometime in the marijuana industry. With many individuals buying the plant for medicinal or recreational purposes, most are keen on keeping the purchase a secret. This is something that is not fully out of the ordinary considering the plant has been illegal and not to mention, a schedule one narcotic for most of history, but the issue remains.
This issue comes into play due to the fact that the drug is still a schedule one narcotic like mentioned previously. Individuals buying the plant want to be sure that their information is not part of any federal system, thus they could be charged with a crime although the plant is legal in the majority of states. With the passing of Prop 64 in California, many are wondering how their privacy is being protected under the laws of the state.
Looking at the drug from a federal perspective, it is still very much illegal, and theoretically an individual could be charged with a federal crime, but the circumstances are still very much in the air.
After California decided to legalize cannabis early 2018, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to roll back an Obama era memo stating that the federal government could not have hand in what goes on with the states rights. The move by Obama helped to pave the way for much of the legislation we have today for the plant. After Sessions made that call, the move helped to scare many individuals into protecting themselves from that federal legislation. For those who are purchasing marijuana, either federally or recreationally, you should not be worried because much of this legislation is unlikely to be enforced or ever put into any sort of action.
In California and most states that offer marijuana, the user has to show a valid ID, showing that they are over 18 for medical use and 21 for recreational use. This is essentially the only information that a customer would ever have to give a dispensary. The proportion does not require any dispensary to hold onto data of any customer after they are finished with their purchase, much like alcohol. Although most dispensaries do collect the information of the user, this data is only ever used for returning customer information and for the purposes of sales.
One lawyer on the subject states that “as a consumer you might go into a store where they don’t give you the option to decline, stores are always trying to gather information. You might just find a different shop where they don’t collect that information.” This is in regard to the idea that customer would be uncomfortable with a store collecting their data. The data is only held similarly to how a grocery loyalty program would hold your information. It is strictly for business. It would be quite contradictory for a medicinal or recreational store to not only cooperate but offer up information to the federal government given the amount of jerking around that the government does with the individual businesses. The same lawyer states that the stores mostly collect this data to ensure that “they need to keep track of who bought and how much and when they were there.” Because of the strict laws across many states, the amount of tracking of the physical product is at an all time high. This leads to the need for a high amount of tracking of the product as it makes its way through the marijuana ecosystem.
Another reason that the dispensary would collect information is for the purpose of delivery. The store retains this information so that individuals are not able to give the product to anyone who shouldn’t have it such as those who are underage. This type of tracking helps to ensure that the product remains in safe hands throughout its journey.
Although the world on marijuana is still very much a new one, the industry is just now getting used to how it will track the product through the system, and how to make sales with general sales tactics. The hopes are high that in the near future, buying marijuana will be as simple as walking into a store and purchasing the plant.
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