To date, ten U.S. states and the District of Columbia (DC) have legalized the use and/or sale of recreational marijuana. Training in responsible sales practices in the alcohol market has reduced sales to minors and, in some cases, intoxicated patrons. Responsible sales practices training could have similar benefits in the recreational marijuana market.
Dr. David Buller, Director of Research at Klein Buendel (KB) presented the results of the implementation and effectiveness trial of Train To Tend at the Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in San Diego, California, November 10-14, 2018. APHA’s annual conference is the largest annual gathering of public health professionals with over 12,000 attendees.
Train To Tend is a unique responsible marijuana vending (RMV) training program developed by KB scientists and staff. The online RMV training was developed through input from state regulators, local law enforcement personnel, Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division’s curriculum standards, interviews with recreational marijuana store personnel (n=15), and usability testing of a prototype training with store personnel (n=19). The RMV training contained five modules: State laws and regulations, ID checking, health effects of cannabis, customer service practices including recognizing intoxicated patrons, and rules of the trade including inventory tracking.
In a randomized controlled trial enrolling state-licensed retail recreational marijuana stores (n=225) in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington State, 125 stores were randomly assigned to receive the RMV training. Trainees completed pre- and post-training surveys evaluating usability and effects of the training. A total of 459 cannabis store employees completed the online training in 55 stores in the three states between June 2017 and February 2018. The training improved trainees’ ability to check IDs, their confidence to use the state’s inventory tracking system, and their ability to recognize intoxicated customers. Most trainees found the training to be user-friendly (78.4%), were satisfied with it (68.8%), and would recommend it to another employee (91.1%).
Overall, online RMV training was acceptable to retail recreational marijuana personnel and appeared to improve responsible sales practices. Training in responsible sales practices has been a successful policy intervention in the alcohol market that should be considered for the recreational marijuana market.
This research was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health (DA038933; Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator). APHA presentation collaborators include Dr. Robert Saltz from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in Oakland, California; and Dr. Gill Woodall, Andrew Grayson, Mary Buller, and Sierra Svendsen from KB. Research details and more results of this study have been reported in an e-publication in the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.