The King County Council in Seattle, Wash., has established a Cannabis Safety Taskforce following an uptick in armed robberies at cannabis shops within the county.
“A dedicated Cannabis Safety Taskforce will be able to focus on keeping our local communities safe from the pattern of armed robberies targeting cannabis stores and manufacturers across the region,” said King County Council Member Reagan Dunn, who co-sponsored the measure with Council Member Jeanne Kohl-Welles. “This legislation sends a strong message that King County plans to hold those committing these crimes responsible for their actions. I could not be more proud of this bipartisan legislation and am grateful to my colleagues for their support.”
The council members cited a Washington Cannabusiness Association report determining that 70 robberies have been recorded at cannabis retailers statewide since the beginning of this year, with the rise being attributed in part to federal banking regulations resulting in cannabis businesses operating as all-cash entities.
“During and since my time in the state legislature, I have been a staunch supporter of the legalization and regulation of the medicinal and recreational use of cannabis,” Kohl-Welles said. “However, the federal banking regulations that force businesses to operate as all-cash businesses have ended up endangering employees, customers, and communities. As such, this motion serves to explore how local jurisdictions can better support these businesses, while efforts to reform banking laws at the federal level remain underway.”