Californians can now check legal pot dealers using QR codes

California marijuana users can now use their smartphones to find out if a dispensary is legit

The Bureau of Cannabis Control on Thursday announced a program encouraging licensed cannabis retailers to post QR codes in their store windows. The checkerboard codes can be scanned by a cellphone camera linking the reader to the bureau's online license bureau.

That will allow consumers to verify that the store is licensed.

Consumers will be able to determine which retailers ”carry products that are tracked, tested, and legal,” Bureau Chief Lori Ajax said in a statement.

Officials said consumers without a QR code-enabled phone can also check a retailer’s license information by visiting the Bureau’s license search tool at

In addition, legal shops continue to be undercut by a thriving illicit market, where consumers can avoid taxes that can approach 50% in some communities.

Last week alone, search warrants were issued against 45 illegal operators in Los Angeles, authorities said.

The QR code program was applauded by the United Cannabis Business Association, which represents licensed retailers.

Executive Director Ruben Honig called it a tool for consumer education.