Over the past two-plus decades, well over half of the states across the United States of America have made cannabis legal to possess, consume, cultivate, distribute, and otherwise use or be involved with. Although most of these states have only opened up their proverbial doors to medicinal cannabis, 10 of them – not to forget the District of Columbia, the capital of the United States, as well – have welcomed their own state-level programs to their residents.
As you know, in order to purchase cannabis legally and in concordance with each state’s laws, rules, and regulations, you must visit a dispensary. Although the price of cannabis in any legalized state is generally much lower than the price of illicit cannabis in illegal states, criminals have still targeted dispensaries as victims of their strongarmed robbery attempts.
1. Businesses That Specialize In Alcohol Or Tobacco Aren’t Good Company
This could be explained by the fact that dispensary crime occurs because dispensaries often carry more valuable items than their tobacco- and alcohol-selling counterparts, luring more property thieves in.
Alcohol has long been known to make people go crazy, for lack of a better word. People who are heavily under the influence of alcohol feel numb, dizzy, and disoriented. Further, they often report not being able to think clearly. This lack of cognition is a precursor to doing stupid, short-sighted, self-harmful things under the influence of alcohol.
Areas that are home to dispensaries, on the other hand, have been correlated to higher incidences of property crime, but not violent crime.
It only makes sense to assume that, in general, people who live closer to liquor stores are more inebriated than their farther-away counterparts. In turn, this means that they’re more likely than others to make bad decisions. Studies have shown that areas with liquor stores are statistically more likely to experience higher rates of violent crime than their far-away counterparts.
2. Dispensaries That Only Take Cash Are At A High Risk Of Robbery
Robbers prefer to target businesses that store large amounts of cash. This is because cash doesn’t have to be exchanged into another form to be used, reducing the risk associated with robbing such businesses. There are a lot of dispensaries that only take cash because payment processors aren’t willing to work with them. Financial institutions have generally stayed away from dispensaries, as well.
As more of these robberies start happening and financial institutions become more comfortable with doing business with dispensaries, the prevalence of robberies targeted at cash-only dispensaries is dropping rapidly. However, criminals are undoubtedly going to target high-volume, cash-only businesses like cash-only dispensaries until they switch up their means of doing business.
3. Medical Marijuana Means Less Violence
The drug cartels of Mexico wouldn’t make money selling drugs to the United States if drugs were legalized and regulated. However, because they’re illegal, drug cartels can engage in criminalistic behaviors like acting violently while selling drugs.
A 2018 study indicated that violent crime dropped in states that bordered Mexico that had recently implemented medical marijuana laws. This is because more people could get cannabis from dispensaries.
4. Pharmacies And Dispensaries Are On Par
Law enforcement officers in Denver, Colorado, indicated that about 17 percent of dispensaries had been robbed in the past calendar year. This is on par with pharmacies’ robbery rate, both of which are substantially better than liquor stores and financial institutions at 20 and 34 percent, respectively.
Robbery rates at dispensaries continue to fall as they accumulate more wealth to buy better security systems. Further, these rates keep falling because cannabis isn’t worth as much on the black market as it used to be because it has been legalized in Colorado for so long.
5. Black Market States Are To Blame For Crime
A study recently found that violent crimes of all types dropped an average of 13 percent in states near those that have legalized medical marijuana or adult-use cannabis.
However, those states that have not legalized cannabis for any utilization yet are those that drive more than their fair share of crime. Criminals from black market states often drive to legal states, rob them, then transport the cannabis products they steal back to their home states, helping them sell those products at an inflated value.
6. County-Level Crime Shows No Correlation With Legalization
The RAND Corporation is a think tank that recently carried out a study in California to see if local cannabis laws affected crime rates and jobs. As it turns out, they actually don’t affect crime rates. This means that legalization hasn’t affected crime on a local level in California, which means smooth sailing for every business in the Californian cannabis trade.
7. Many Studies Don’t Account For Other Factors
The socioeconomic and racial makeup of populations that are near California dispensaries aren’t always taken into consideration in studies like those discussed above.
In other words, this means that consumers and businesspeople alike need to pay close attention to whether such studies are valid or not. One way to get past this is to pressure nonprofit organizations, universities, and other institutions of research to pump more funding into studies to get better research about the cannabis market.