DENVER — Seven individuals at separate businesses were cited for selling marijuana to people younger than 21 years old, the Denver Police Department said Wednesday.
Police said an operation focused on the underage sale of retail marijuana was conducted Friday by the department’s Vice and Drug Control Bureau and investigators from the State of Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division.
The operation investigated 30 businesses licensed to sell retail marijuana in the city and county of Denver, police said. Those who were found to sell marijuana to an underage person were cited and charged with a class 1 misdemeanor.
“We are disappointed,” MED Director Lewis Koski said. “Up until now, these compliance checks have been a bright spot for the industry. This recent check drops compliance to 92 percent. Even though there have not been any repeat violations at the same licensed premises, this represents a downward trend in compliance that is concerning.”
According to the MED rules, businesses selling retail marijuana products are prohibited from selling to those younger than 21. Violations of this rule are considered “the most severe,” Denver police said.
Penalties include license suspension, a fine per individual violation, a fine in lieu of suspension of up to $100,000 and/or license revocation, depending on the circumstances.
“Sanctions may also include restrictions on the license,” police said in a news release.
Investigators say they will file the cases with the Denver City Attorney’s Office, which could issue its own discipline on the licenses.