In December of 2019, the federal government established 21 years of age as the minimum-purchasing age for the sale of all tobacco products, this includes vapor products, most notably Juul. This set the stage for Juul to update their mandates and controls used by their resellers to help prevent the sale of Juul products to underage individuals. For convenience and grocery store owners, understanding these new mandates and how it will affect your POS system will help you stay off of the “No-Sale List”. Allowing you to continue selling Juul products safely and responsibly. Juul now requires their resellers to scan ID for age verification and implement RACS (Retail Access Control Standards) into the POS system. While there is another option to stay compliant with Juul’s new mandates, the Merchant Advantage POS software and scanner will provide the quickest, simplest, and most consistent way to stay compliant while keeping Juul’s products out of kid’s hands
Juul now requires that in order to complete a sale of their products, the age of the buyer must be verified to be over the age of 21. To do this effectively and consistently a convenience and grocery store owner will need to install a 2D scanner at each of their checkouts. This kind of scanner along with Merchant Advantage POS software can scan and record the buyer’s info directly off the ID and save it as part of the sale. This will allow the FDA to monitor past sales to ensure compliance with the Juul mandate. There also needs to be a policy in place that identifies and reports fraudulent IDs. Ensuring Juul products are only sold to adults.
On top of age verifications, the new Juul mandates also govern how many Juul pods and devices can be sold in a single transaction. The mandate sets the limit to four (4) pods and one (1) device. To do this consistently without there even being a possibility of manager override, the POS software must have RACS, Retail Access Control Standards, capabilities. In short, RACS throws up an error message and blocks the completion of a sale if the customer is trying to buy more than what the limit allows. The Merchant Advantage POS software has the RACS capability and it’s incredibly easy to set up and use.
Juul has offered another option for convenience and grocery store owners who do not wish to incorporate 2D scanners and RACS into their POS system, but this option comes with serious consequences. If a “RACS Agreement” or a “Pathway to RACS Agreement” is not signed by the owner, then their business will be subject to the Mystery Shop Program. These Mystery Shoppers will be used to monitor the retailers Age Verification and the Product Quantity limits compliance. Failing a Mystery Shopper inquiry will result in escalating penalties. After the first strike, Juul will issue a warning letter, which will reiterate Juul’s underage prevention policies and penalty escalation structure. After the second strike, Juul will issue a second warning letter. Also, the business will be suspended from any promotional activities for one (1) promotional cycle, and they will be regularly reported to the FDA. After the third strike, Juul will issue a third and final warning letter. Juul will immediately reject all future purchase orders and will notify all Distributors and Sub-Distributors to suspend sales to the violating business. The business will be added to the No-Sale List for one (1) whole year. While the first strike might sound like just a slap on the hand, the second and third strikes can seriously damage a business. Missing out on promotions will cost you money and being reported to the FDA will lead to increased scrutiny from them and possibly other governmental agencies. Being added to the No-Sale List will directly affect your sales and alienate your business from Juul’s devoted customer base, thus shrinking your customer base noticeably. This shrinkage to your customer base will probably not recover even after the one-year suspension and your business is removed from the No-Sale list.
Knowing what’s at stake and the adjustments needed to prevent any negative consequences to your business, installing a 2D scanner and switching to the Merchant Advantage POS software is the obvious choice. With your business equipped with these upgrades you will never have to worry about getting a negative letter from Juul. Don’t roll the dice that a Mystery Shopper catches one of your employees at an off moment, permanently affecting your business. To learn more about 2D scanners and switching over to the Merchant Advantage POS software, contact Total Merchant Supply today.