King County Council approves creation of Cannabis Safety Task Force

King County Council members approved the creation of a Cannabis Safety Task Force on Tuesday. 

The bill was proposed in response to dozens of violent robberies at pot shops throughout King County and the greater Puget Sound region. 

This would bring together the King County Sheriff’s Office, the King County Prosecutor’s Office, cannabis retailers and local community members to identify resources necessary to aid law enforcement in the prevention of criminal activity targeting marijuana retailers, deepen inter-jurisdictional cooperation and data sharing, and coordinate emphasis patrols by law enforcement. 

State Liquor & Cannabis Board announces free, voluntary security assessments for pot shops

The move comes after pot shops in western Washington have seen a dramatic increase in armed robberies, some of them turning deadly.

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"King County is leading the way in our state by adopting a coordinated response among law enforcement, prosecutors, regulated cannabis businesses and the broader community for responding to the current public safety crisis," said Vicki Christophersen, WACA executive director. "We thank Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Jeanne Kohl-Welles for co-sponsoring this legislation and the full Council for adopting this critical effort. Regulated cannabis businesses stand ready to participate as partners in protecting the safety of workers and the communities in which regulated cannabis businesses operate."

The legislation also requested an analysis of the $4.6 million in marijuana tax revenue stripped from the sheriff’s office in 2021, and how it is being put to use in the county.