Washington State cannabis retailers experienced at least 100 armed robberies last year—a ten-year high—according to an unofficial crime tracker hosted by Uncle Ike’s, a Seattle area cannabis retailer.
The ten-year high comes amidst multiple failed efforts to pass the SAFE Banking Act. If enacted as currently written, some of the protections in the law would:
- Prohibit federal banking regulators from penalizing banks that provide banking services to a legitimate cannabis-related business.
- Prohibit deposits from a legitimate cannabis-related business from being considered proceeds from unlawful activity.
- Prevent banks from being liable or subject to asset forfeiture for providing loans or other financial services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses.
“It’s certainly a sobering figure,” Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said of the increased number of armed robberies at pot shops in Washington. “With crime on the rise and our industry disproportionately affected due to outdated federal banking regulations forcing state-licensed cannabis providers to operate cash heavy businesses, it’s absolutely shameful that another year is passing with Congressional failure to pass the SAFE Banking Act.”