The San Francisco Office of Cannabis delivered an email this week to dispensaries and other cannabis licensees in the city warning about a high potential for robberies and other criminal attacks during protests planned for the 4th of July weekend.
“Dear Cannabis Permit Holders: It has been brought to the attention of the SF Office of Cannabis that several protests are scheduled for the July 4th weekend. Please be aware that past protests had caused a strain on police resources which is why it is important to take necessary precautions.” — Excerpt of email delivered to cannabis licensees by San Francisco’s OOC
Marijuana Business Daily reported that similar warnings were issued to cannabis businesses in cities near San Francisco, including Oakland.
The warning hearkens back to the Black Lives Matter protests during the international uproar over the police killing of George Floyd in May; those protests were marred by a series of robberies against cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Many dispensary owners at the time believed the robberies were carried out by opportunistic criminals who were taking advantage of a police force distracted by monitoring the protests, not by so-called “looters” or the protesters themselves.
In the email, officials suggested that cannabis licensees:
- Move cash/cannabis products to a different location for the weekend
- Reinforce the business premises, including boarding up windows and building entrances
- Consider additional deterrence measures
- Ensure proper video recording that is archived both on and offsite
- Preserve evidence from a potential crime for police
- Avoid confrontation with potential intruders, calling 911 if necessary
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