SACRAMENTO – The Bureau of Cannabis Control (Bureau) launched a campaign today encouraging consumers to look for and scan a quick response code (QR code) with their smartphone camera when they visit a licensed cannabis retailer. Consumers who scan to verify a QR code will be able to confirm that a cannabis retailer is licensed.
As part of this effort, the Bureau is encouraging retailers to print out and post their unique QR code in storefront windows and educate consumers about the importance of supporting and purchasing from the legal cannabis market.
The importance of a QR code identification system for licensees is underscored by the fact that many consumers have difficulty telling the difference between licensed and unlicensed retail storefronts. This was on display last week when the Bureau and other state agencies worked in coordination with the City of Los Angeles to serve 45 search warrants against illegal operators over the course of three days.
“We believe licensed retailers will benefit from a recognizable emblem distinguishing them as a licensed business in the community,” said Bureau Chief Lori Ajax. “We also want to provide consumers with the best information possible so they can determine which licensed California cannabis retailers carry products that are tracked, tested, and legal.”
Smartphone users can easily use their smartphone camera to scan the displayed QR code, which automatically links to the Bureau’s Online License Search and confirms the cannabis retailer’s license status. The system also displays the retailer’s address and license location to ensure that the information is not counterfeit.
An educational video showing consumers how to scan and verify a cannabis retailer’s QR code can be found here. Additionally, retail licensees can learn more about the process for posting their QR code in a fact sheet titled “Information Regarding Posting of QR Codes by Commercial Cannabis Retail Licensees”, which has been posted to the Bureau’s website.
For consumers without a QR code-enabled phone, they can also check a retailer’s license information by visiting the Bureau’s license search tool at CApotcheck.com.
Today’s announcement ties into the Bureau’s “Get #weedwise” public awareness campaign. Since 2019, the Bureau has delivered messages through digital and outdoor advertising, social media, events and public relations outreach encouraging consumers to seek licensed cannabis retailers for their cannabis purchases and for unlicensed retailers to obtain licensure or risk being shut down. More information about the campaign is available on the Bureau’s website at bcc.ca.gov.