OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington Senate approved a measure last Thursday that could potentially provide protection for cannabis retailers against robberies.
According to KING 5, Senate Bill 5927 adds one year to the prison sentence of someone convicted of robbing a retail cannabis shop. This equates to the same sentence someone convicted of robbing a pharmacy would receive.
The bill was passed following concerns among cannabis retailers, some of whom experienced violent robberies in recent years. Senator Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside), a sponsor of the bill believes the safety measure will not only protect the pot shops, but the commutes in which they reside.
“The number of robberies of cannabis stores is on the rise, and this bill would make improvements for not just the benefit of the retailers themselves, but for the public safety of the community as a whole,” said Honeyford.
Honeford also believes federal banking regulations put retailers in a dangerous position saying, “…these businesses are almost entirely cash-only operations, making them a target for robberies and a magnet for criminals.”
The Cannabis Professionals Network created a spreadsheet of all related crimes in the state of Washington, which accounted for more than 30 crimes since last November.
The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board is also working to improve safety guidelines among retail store owners. They recently released a list of several safety tips and best practices for cannabis retailers to follow in order to prevent further robberies.
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