As the legalization of marijuana continues to spread across the United States, cannabis dispensaries have become a popular destination for both medical and recreational users. However, with this rise in popularity, a new type of scam has emerged: ID scanning scams.


Scam red warning banner


ID scanning scams occur when a dispensary employee asks to scan a customer’s ID for “verification” or “security” purposes, but then proceeds to steal the customer’s personal information. This information can then be used for identity theft or other fraudulent purposes.

So how can you protect yourself from ID scanning scams at cannabis dispensaries? Here are a few tips:

  1. Ask why your ID needs to be scanned: Dispensary employees should be able to explain why they need to scan your ID. If they can’t provide a clear reason, it may be a red flag that something is amiss.
  2. Keep an eye on your ID: If an employee needs to scan your ID, make sure you watch them do it. Don’t let them take your ID out of your sight, and don’t let them use their own device to scan it.
  3. Be wary of “special offers”: Some scammers will offer special deals or discounts in exchange for scanning your ID. Be skeptical of any offer that seems too good to be true.
  4. Check your credit report regularly: Even if you don’t think your ID has been scanned in a scam, it’s always a good idea to check your credit report regularly for any suspicious activity.
  5. Report any suspicious activity: If you suspect that your ID has been scanned in a scam, report it to the dispensary management and your local law enforcement agency. This can help prevent other customers from falling victim to the same scam.


ID scanning scams at cannabis dispensaries are a real threat and can happen to anyone, but they can be largely avoided by being cautious and vigilant and can help protect yourself from these scams so you can enjoy a safe and legal cannabis experience.

In related stories, customers at this Toronto cannabis store found their IDs being scanned, which made many understandably uncomfortable. “I do think that this could be yet another reason individuals could continue to purchase from the underground market,” a lawyer warns.  Read the full story here.