Privacy Protections Necessary for Recreational Marijuana Users in California

While many Californians are finally enjoying the freedom to use recreational marijuana, some are questioning how safe their private information is recreational marijuanawhen they make a purchase. When Proposition 64 went into effect Jan. 1, adult-use marijuana became legal in the state, with local governments able to set up their own regulations or bans.  But there are currently loopholes that threaten the privacy of customers.

Assembly Bill 2402 seeks to tighten those loopholes. Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) introduced the bill, which would prevent cannabis retailers from selling customer information to third parties. It would also protect customer information from employers looking to investigate employee use, according to Capital Public Radio. It mirrors similar rules that are currently in place for medical marijuana users.

Because you must be 21 or older to purchase cannabis in California, dispensaries require a valid ID to prove your age. Though it is not mandatory, some dispensaries will keep a record of the information on file. Some use this information for marketing purposes. Many also keep such records in order to monitor how much someone is purchasing in a day, according to Politifact. This could be necessary if a business needed to prove they are in compliance with state law, which caps individual recreational marijuana sales to one ounce per day.For deliveries, personal information is kept on file as record that the person receiving the delivery is 21 or older. And dispensaries are required under licensing regulations to videotape each transaction.

This bill would tighten up what businesses are and are not allowed to do with private information. Our lawyers know this would be a victory for customers and recreational marijuana businesses alike. The more comfortable people are, the more they will feel good about purchasing marijuana, and the more the industry will thrive. While we believe there’s no reason for marijuana users to feel they need to hide, a stigma still exists, and people deserve to be able to enjoy this legal and safe activity while keeping their privacy intact.

However, the bill will not protect customers from federal officials. Because marijuana is still considered a Schedule I narcotic under Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. Section 812, federal authorities would still have the right to confiscate customer information. Most don’t believe the federal government has the interest or the resources to go after individual users, though. While we hope this is true, it really demonstrates the importance of reclassifying marijuana, which we know has no reason to be listed among the likes of dangerous drugs, like heroin.

If you are a cannabis business owner, it’s important you be aware of best practices for handling the private information of customer, while also keeping in compliance with state and local laws. Our trusted Los Angeles recreational marijuana attorneys have the experience and know-how to advise you through this sometimes confusing process.

We also are there to protect the interest of marijuana users. There are still those who are clinging to outdated ideas about cannabis who will use their power to try to stop progress. We have both criminal and civil attorneys prepared to stand up for you and your rights should you encounter trouble.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 949-375-4734.

Additional Resources:

Bill Would Boost Privacy For California Marijuana Customers, Feb. 19, 2018, Chris Nichols, Capital Public Radio

More Blog Entries:

California Now Accepting Recreational Marijuana Business License Applications, Dec. 12, 2017, Cannabis Law Group

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