OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board will be holding a roundtable Tuesday morning to discuss the safety concerns at marijuana retailers.
This comes after the recent armed robberies at local pot shops. Three people have been killed this month in the robberies.
The board said Tuesday’s roundtable will be an opportunity for state leaders, advocates with the SAFE Banking Act, law enforcement and regulators to meet with retailers and share information that could help.
"The lack of banking services has become a catalyst for a very real public safety crisis in Washington state," the board said. "Due to their forced reliance on cash transactions, cannabis retailers have increasingly become targets for armed robbers."
In 2022, there have been more than 50 robberies in Washington state and many have been armed.
King County Council member Reagan Dunn announced on Tuesday plans to create a Marijuana Safety Taskforce to address the recent slate of marijuana store robberies across the Puget Sound region.
"There is a perception that marijuana shops are easy targets because they are known operate on an all-cash basis. This has resulted in very dangerous situations that have quickly escalated and have resulted in deaths," Dunn said. "Like so many other areas of our criminal justice system, we need to be sending the message that this type of lawlessness will not be tolerated and give our law enforcement the support they need to apprehend those responsible. Letting these brazen crimes continue is not an option — we must act for the safety of our communities, before more lives are lost."
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