OCS Dispensaries staff will be trained to detect customers too high to buy

Published Apr 5, 2019 09:33 a.m. ET
AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

Even since before marijuana use became a legal activity within Canada, the plant was so often compared to alcohol. The same is true now as far as the regulations that mainly non-users wanted to see put in place to manage the 21 locations of Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation dispensaries. Some of those rules included suggestions on a minimum age of purchase, a maximum cannabinoid content, and restricting sales to customers who may have already consumed a little too much before arriving. This leaves many to wonder how this will be managed since THC tests that are accurate for marijuana use in less than 24 hours do not currently exist yet.

Training

Any new budtenders that are to be employed by one of the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation dispensaries in Ontario will require a two-day training course that covered multiple topics. Just a few of those include how to sell products without mentioning medicinal qualities, the social responsibility policies that should be followed, and how to decide when to deny an already high customer the chance to make a purchase, and risks for cannabis related harms.

What do they mean by a high customer?

Well, we aren’t exactly sure exactly how this portion of regulations will be rolled out since many Canadians currently partake in marijuana use for medical reasons which may lead them to come in looking a little high. So far what’s been revealed is a few things that our future budtenders will be looking for including bloodshot eyes, speech issues, motor functioning problems, balance, and last but not least, the overall demeanor of the customer in question.

Is this possible?

Many Canadians are wondering just how effectivethis sort of regulation will be with a substance that doesn’t present itself in the same manner as alcohol and isn’t something that can be tested for on the spot in any intruding or fast way. This leaves the staff who will be working at OCS or Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation dispensaries to decide for themselves how much might be too much. Some people are worried that there may be liability issues if a person was to make a purchase and drive home under the influence just like bars are held accountable for their patrons. Since there is no real way for a budtender to tell whether you’re already high, the general hope is that these rules will only be used when completely necessary to remove someone from the premises, but only time will tell for sure.  

Will anyone else require this training?

There are a few more businesses that will also be impacted by the introduction of this training who will need to get recertified for smart serve license with the addition of a portion that focuses on marijuana use and suggests several different ways that this can be done. Any staff member who works in an establishment that sells either cannabis or alcohol will be required to take this test. Police officers and some security personnel will also need this new and updated training program. The list may get longer as marijuana legalization plays out and more establishments can decide if the need for marijuana use detection may be necessary for their employees.

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