Precursor Chemicals Prevention
Diversion of methamphetamine manufacturing items can occur many ways:
- Theft of the substance
- A customer purchases the substance repeatedly on the same day or within a few days.
- Customers, who are part of a group, each of whom purchases the substance.
- Customers who go from register to register purchasing the product at each register.
Meth lab operators know what stores they can purchase or steal the most precursor or regulated chemicals from without being discovered. Don't let your store be one of these! In fact, if your business has an Arizona Board of Pharmacy Permit, then you are required under their regulations "to maintain effective controls against the diversion of precursor chemicals to unauthorized persons or entities" (A.R.S. 32-1932.A.9). Failure to do so can result in "a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each offense and deny, suspend or revoke any permit… or place a permittee on probation (A.R.S. 32-1932.A).
Here are some suggestions to prevent diversion. These are only suggestions and are not required to be done by law. Doing any of these actions DOES NOT eliminate the store's responsibility to submit required reports to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.
- Keep the product behind the counter (customer service, register, pharmacy, back room, etc.). This decreases the possibility of theft of the product, allows you to monitor and control the sale of the product, and decreases the likelihood of meth lab operators asking for the product.
- Ask for identification of all who want to purchase the product. Those who want to divert the product do not want to be identified and thus are less likely to come to your place of business to do so.
- Limit the amount of product that can be purchased at one time. Meth lab operators want to obtain as much product as they can. By having a store policy that limits the amount of product that can be purchased during one transaction, this can severely limit their ability to do divert from your store. Most will try to get the product from other stores that do not have limits. Limiting the quantity of product sold is ineffective if the person is allowed to purchase the limit at each of the stores registers.
- Provide training on the precursor chemical laws, the reporting requirement, how to identify precursor chemicals and how to identify a suspicious transaction to all store employees.