The legalization of cannabis for recreational adult and medical use was solidified last 2020 in numerous states, such as Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, and Mississippi. Currently, sixteen states have legalized recreational marijuana use, while 37 states allow cannabis to be dispensed for medical purposes.
BDSA, the center of knowledge and market research for the legal cannabis market, shared their findings that the legal cannabis industry potentially reached $18 billion in 2020, larger than their original projected $16.1 billion figure.
The figures are relatively clear proof that the legal market for cannabis will continue to grow. Although this is great news for the industry, it burdens licensed vendors to prevent underage individuals from obtaining these products. Whether these sellers offer their products in person or through courier delivery, dispensaries must comply with age restrictions regulations.
Presently, online sales for marijuana have been challenging as it operates on a cash-only basis, and shipping cannabis can be tagged as a felony despite the drug coming from a licensed vendor. Because of this, merchants opt for courier-based deliveries, which brought a temporary solution to the shipping concerns. However, the problem with this process lies in verifying the buyer’s age. Generally, cannabis can only be sold to persons 21 years old and above. But because the process for courier-based deliveries is done online, sellers cannot physically and thoroughly conduct age and identity verification.
The traditional online age verification usually utilizes age gates, a virtual barrier designed to keep people of certain age groups away from a specific website. Age gates typically come in the form of pop-up messages asking whether or not the user is 21 years of age or older. But these age gates can easily be bypassed, especially since it has no follow-up processes to confirm if the information entered is legitimate.
Therefore, it is necessary to improve remote age verification with biometric identification. Through this advanced technology, vendors can validate their customer’s claimed age and identity. By using biometric verification, users will have to present a government-issued credential along with a selfie.With the growing demand for cannabis, dispensaries must be careful about who they will sell their products to. For more information regarding using biometrics for age verification in cannabis sales, check this infographic created by authID.