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  1. Buller, David B. PhD
  2. Woodall, W. Gill PhD
  3. Saltz, Robert PhD
  4. Grayson, Andrew MA
  5. Buller, Mary Klein MA


Context: Six US states have implemented retail sales of recreational marijuana. Training in responsible sales practices has been effective in the alcohol market. An online responsible marijuana vendor (RMV) training was produced and implemented with stores in a randomized trial.


Program: An online RMV training was developed through meetings with state regulators and local law enforcement personnel, curriculum standards published by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division in May 2015, interviews with recreational marijuana store personnel (n = 15), and usability testing of a prototype training with store personnel (n = 19) in Colorado and Washington State. The training contained 5 modules: state laws and regulations, ID checking, health effects of marijuana, customer service practices including recognizing intoxicated patrons, and rules of the trade.


Implementation: A randomized controlled trial testing the training enrolled a random sample of state-licensed retail recreational marijuana stores (n = 225) in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington State. In total, 125 stores were randomly assigned to receive the RMV training. A total of 420 store employees completed the online training between June 2017 and February 2018 (43.5% female, 88.4% younger than 40 years, and 74.1% non-Hispanic white).


Evaluation: Responses to posttraining surveys showed that most trainees found the training user-friendly (78.4%), were satisfied (68.8%), and would recommend it to another employee (91.1%). The training improved trainees' ability to check IDs (pretraining mean = 3.91 [SD = 1.36], posttraining mean = 4.58 [SD = 0.66], t387,388 = 8.68, P < .001) and their confidence to use the state's inventory tracking system (pretraining mean = 2.52 [SD = 0.65], posttraining mean = 2.85 [SD = 0.39], t387, 388 = 10.89, P < .001) and spot intoxicated customers (pretraining mean = 2.79 [SD = 0.41], posttraining mean = 2.94 [SD = 0.25], t387,388 = 6.87, P < .001).


Discussion: Online RMV training was acceptable to retail recreational marijuana personnel and potentially improved responsible sales practices. Responsible vendor training has been successful under certain conditions in the alcohol market and should be considered for the recreational marijuana market.