Business & Legal

Do Dispensaries Accept Vertical ID’s?

Written by Colby McCoy

The concept of the vertical I.D., which is used to signify that an individual is under the age of 21, is widely used across the United States today. Much like alcohol consumption, those with vertical I.D.’s may find it difficult to gain entry to dispensaries.

In Colorado for example, state law requires that dispensary customers be over the age of 21 to purchase cannabis. However, even if an individual is over the age 21 and possesses a vertical I.D. they may be refused entry. It is advised that potential customers call the dispensary ahead of their visit to confirm whether vertical I.D.’s are accepted.

Vertical ID’s are only issued to those under 21 and may expire soon after they turn of age. Thus, not accepting vertical ID’s is a store policy in place to protect them. To many, it is more important to turn away legitimate vertical ID’s to avoid any potential underage, counterfeit, or expired ID’s. The worst that can happen to someone getting turned away is having to go to a different shop, the dispensary on the other hand, can get shut down, sued, or end up paying a huge penalty (or jail).

Ultimately, the acceptance of vertical I.D.’s is up to the dispensary itself. Much like Colorado, Washington’s Cannabis and Liquor board only requires that an individual be over the age of 21 and possess a valid form of I.D. with the bearer’s date of birth, signature, and photo. In essence, the issue of vertical ID’s as a valid form of identification is a gray area.

If the individual is over the age of 21 with an unexpired ID, they will most likely be able to purchase cannabis. Therefore, the sale of cannabis is not just limited to American citizens. International customers may also purchase cannabis as long as they possess an official passport showing they are the required legal age.


Acceptable Identification. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Smith, S. J. (2018, August 15). Recreational Marijuana Dispensaries 101: What to Expect on Your First Visit. Retrieved from

The Complete Q&A List for California’s 2018 Cannabis Regulations. (2018, May 15). Retrieved from

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Colby McCoy

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