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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Seattle Pot Shop Owners Increase Security, Decrease In Diversity

More than 50 robberies have taken place at cannabis businesses so far this year in Seattle. A gun has been used in a number of the incidents. Owners are now employing armed security guards. Criminals know that there is cash at pot businesses. 

Marijuana dispensaries are forced to have a large amount of cash on hand at any given time because bank cards cannot be used to make purchases. Some feel that diversity is still an issue in addition to crime.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has decided to be proactive. The agency has stated that it will host an online roundtable to discuss crime being directed towards cannabis retailers. Legislators are now feeling that pot shops could afford armed security if city or state tax credits were in place. 

Some would like the board to revisit the diversity as well as crime in that industry. About 4% of the state’s population is Black. But Black people have a majority stake in only 1% of Washington businesses that grow and process marijuana, according to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. About 3% of retail cannabis shops are majority Black owned. 

Former basketball star Shawn Kemp opened a shop that was initially billed as Seattle’s first Black-owned cannabis dispensary, headlines followed. Kemp owns only 5% of the store that bears his name. That business is majority white owned. The communications firm that originally promoted the store as Seattle’s first Black-owned cannabis dispensary later said it was wrongly stated.

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