June 2021 Underage Sales Compliance Rates Show Improvements Needed

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Left justified header

August 5, 2021

To:          LCB Licensees

Fr:           Chandra Brady, Director of LCB Enforcement and Education

Re:         June 2021 Underage Sales Compliance Rates Show Improvements Needed


In May, the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) notified licensees among all industries that the agency was resuming compliance checks after halting for approximately one year due to COVID. Initial checks show mixed results from our industries. This is another reminder to all retailers of age-restricted products to make sure that employees verify the age of customers before selling alcohol, cannabis, tobacco or vapor products.


Initial 2021 compliance checks showed:


  • Alcohol sales (all categories)
    • Compliance rate of 85 percent in 2019 fell to a rate of 75 percent in 2021.
  • Cannabis sales
    • Compliance rate of 95 percent in 2019 increased to a rate of 96 percent in 2021. 
  • Tobacco Sales
    • Compliance rate of 90 percent in 2019 fell to 75 percent in 2021.


As we begin to navigate these issues post-pandemic, these findings demonstrate the need to remind employees about age-verification responsibilities under Washington’s laws governing age-restricted products. LCB’s compliance checks are ongoing. Retailers, please note that repeated violations can be costly and jeopardize license status. Preventing youth access is a key public safety responsibility shared by both licensees and regulators.  


If you need assistance educating yourself or your staff about laws and strategies for making sure sales are not made to underage, or overserved customers, there are many resources available to help. Visit LCB’s website at the links listed below:



For additional proactive steps you can take, contact your Enforcement and Education Officer directly using the contact information provided on this webpage link.


Thank you for your attention to this important matter.