Sales of Recreational Cannabis to Alcohol-Intoxicated Customers

Sales of Recreational Cannabis to Alcohol-Intoxicated Customers

To prevent harm, some U.S. states have laws prohibiting the sale of recreational marijuana to alcohol-intoxicated customers. In a recent publication in the International Journal of Drug Policy, Klein Buendel researchers and collaborators evaluated an online responsible marijuana vendor (RMV) training program – Train to Tend – and its performance at deterring sales to apparently alcohol-intoxicated customers in recreational cannabis stores. Much like the training of responsible alcohol sales practices, RMV training may prove beneficial for helping to keep customers and communities safe.

One hundred fifty stores from Colorado, Oregon, and Washington were enrolled in the randomized controlled trial. Half of the stores were randomly selected to receive Train to Tend training. One of the five online training modules addressed recognizing signs of impairment and intoxication, refusing sales to intoxicated patrons, and understanding the risks of driving under the influence of cannabis.

The evaluation employed pseudo-patron pairs, one of which displayed obvious signs of alcohol intoxication. The refusal of cannabis sales to the pseudo-intoxicated buyers was very low. In some cases, store personnel made comments or expressed suspicion towards buyers’ behavior, but continued with the sale nonetheless. Refusal rates between intervention and control stores were not significantly different. Overall, responsible marijuana vending practices alone did not appear to influence the reduction of marijuana sales to customers with obvious signs of alcohol intoxication. A full description of the methods, results, and discussion can be found in the publication.

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). Co-authors on the publication include Dr. Robert Saltz from the Prevention Research Center at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation in California; Dr. Gary Cutter from the University of Alabama, Birmingham; and Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Andrew Grayson, and Sierra Svendsen from Klein Buendel.

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