Marijuana retailers in Washington state continue to report robberies and break-ins, as five stores in close proximity were recently robbed in the span of a week.
According to The News Tribune, thieves in the Olympia and Tacoma areas have used the same method each time, ramming a stolen car through a shop entrance, stealing a little product or merchandise, then driving off in another stolen vehicle.
Cannabis businesses in the state have been reporting an increase in armed robberies since the beginning of the year, spurring calls for the industry to allow for safer banking options – including passage of the federal SAFE Banking Act – instead of operating as mostly cash-only businesses.
The robbers in the two cities, which are 30 miles apart, haven’t taken that much in value – only around $300 in one case, according to the business owner.
But the damage to that business is estimated to be in the thousands of dollars.
The State Liquor and Cannabis Board and Washington treasurer have called on the U.S. Congress to act on banking solutions for the marijuana industry, saying crimes against MJ businesses stem from the fact retailers are cash-only businesses.