California Cannabis Bureau Uses QR Codes to Help Consumers Get #WeedWise

SACRAMENTO – The California Bureau of Cannabis Control last Thursday introduced a new resource to help identify licensed, legitimate retailers in the state. Consumers can scan a QR code, displayed by vendors, to verify the retailer is licensed.

Those without QR code capability on their phones can go online to verify the licensing status of a California vendor at


“We believe licensed retailers will benefit from a recognizable emblem distinguishing them as a licensed business in the community,” Bureau Chief Lori Ajax said in a press release. “We also want to provide consumers with the best information possible so they can determine which licensed California cannabis retailers carry products that are tracked, tested, and legal.”

The Bureau’s press release highlighted the importance for consumers to be able to easily check a vendor’s status, in light of the proliferation of unlicensed vendors in the state. A recent three-day sweep of unlicensed pot shops in Los Angeles County yielded forty-five businesses charged with illegal cannabis sales, the Bureau added.

An educational video on how to scan and verify using a QR code has been posted to the Bureau’s YouTube channel. Cannabis business licensees can get more information on QR codes from a Bureau fact sheet.

The use of QR codes is the latest tool for state officials and licensed cannabis vendors to use, to separate legitimate retail businesses from illicit vendors.

Part of the state’s #WeedWise campaign, which the Bureau described: “Since 2019, the Bureau has delivered messages through digital and outdoor advertising, social media, events, and public relations outreach encouraging consumers to seek licensed cannabis retailers for their cannabis purchases and for unlicensed retailers to obtain licensure or risk being shut down.”