The Need for Trusted Age Verification For Cannabis Sales
For a long time, cannabis has been part of many debates about whether it should be legalized or not. This specific drug has been proven to have medical benefits. But because some abuse this substance, the dialogues on its legalization have been up for many years. However, in 2020, its legalization was finally approved by numerous states in America. Currently, 16 states have legal markets for marijuana sales, while 37 have approved its distribution for medicinal treatments.
Cannabis research firm, BDSA, has shared their findings that the legal cannabis industry in the US grew faster than their original projected figure of $16 billion and has potentially reached an estimated $18 billion.
As the marijuana market continues to grow, preventing underaged individuals from obtaining this drug has been paramount for licensed vendors. Whether they are operating in person or through courier deliveries, they are required to follow a strict age restriction regulation that no one under the age of 21 can acquire cannabis.
Besides this mandate, online selling of marijuana has been a challenge since the industry operates on a cash-only service. Furthermore, federal restrictions define the shipping of cannabis as a felony despite the product coming from a licensed seller. Due to these reasons, many cannabis vendors opted for courier-based deliveries. While this process has offered help in delivering cannabis, the problem lies in identity authentication. Because sellers have no way of physically verifying whether the customer is within the appropriate age or not, dispatching marijuana products becomes trickier.
Most of these websites use traditional online verification methods like age gate. It is a virtual barrier intended to keep individuals of specific age groups away from a website. This usually comes in the form of a pop-up message asking if a user is 21 and up or not. However, getting away from these age gates is not complicated, especially since they do not ask for additional processes to confirm the legitimacy of the user’s identification.
With that in mind, it is imperative for licensed cannabis sellers to adopt a more robust identity proofing by using biometric identification. Through this technology, dispensaries can quickly validate a customer’s claimed age and identity. Moreover, they can confirm the authenticity of their given credentials as customers will be required to present government-issued identification.
The demand for cannabis will continue to grow. This is why sellers have to carefully examine whether or not their customers are allowed to purchase their products. Reading further in this infographic created by authID can give vendors an idea of how biometrics can help verify their clients’ identities.