‘Secret Shoppers’ Could Be In Store For Massachusetts Marijuana Retail Shops

Photo Credit: David Zalubowski

A “secret shopper” could pose as a customer and purchase marijuana products from retail pot shops to make sure the products are safe and being sold to adults over the age of 21, under rules that state regulators are considering.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has proposed regulations that include a “secret shopper program,” which would allow the person who is not the right age to go in and attempt to purchase marijuana. The products could also be tested for accurate potency.

Massachusetts voters broadly legalized recreational marijuana through a 2016 ballot question. Home-growing and personal possession, with limits, are allowed for adults age 21 and over.

Retail marijuana stores, and marijuana-related businesses like cafes and yoga students, are also allowed under the state law, while marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

The first Massachusetts retail shops, which will be licensed by the commission, are expected to open later this year.

If the shop sells marijuana to someone who is underage, the commission would be able to take action against the retail establishment, according to Kay Doyle, one of the five members of the regulatory panel.

The proposed regulations say the commission at any time and without prior notice can authorize an employee or another person to pose as a customer and purchase marijuana or marijuana products as part of the “secret shopper” program.

Along with retail pot shops, commissioners are also set to eventually take on oversight of the state’s medical marijuana program and the dispensaries scattered around the state, currently under the watch of the state Department of Public Health.

Massachusetts voters legalized marijuana for medical use in 2012.