Portland Cannabis Dispensaries Targeted by Serial Robber

Portland, Oregon, has seen a surge of robberies targeting cannabis dispensaries in the past year, exposing the vulnerability of the legal cannabis industry in the state. Police have identified a suspect, Cory Jackson, who is believed to be responsible for at least five armed robberies of cannabis retail establishments since August 2023.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, Jackson has been robbing cannabis dispensaries at gunpoint, taking cash and products from the stores. He has hit five different locations across the city, including:

  • Green Planet on August 23, 2023
  • Green Goddess Remedies on September 8, 2023
  • Green Front Dispensary on October 14, 2023
  • Americanna RX on November 18, 2023
  • Green Hop on December 8, 2023

Police have released surveillance video and photos of Jackson, who is described as a 43-year-old Black male, 6 feet tall, and 200 pounds. He is considered armed and dangerous, and anyone who sees him is advised to call 911. Police are also offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

A Challenge for the Legal Cannabis Industry

The robberies highlight the challenge that the legal cannabis industry faces in Oregon, where cannabis was legalized for recreational use in 2016. The industry is largely cash-based, as most banks and credit card companies refuse to work with cannabis businesses due to federal prohibition. This makes cannabis dispensaries attractive targets for criminals, who can easily get away with large amounts of money and products.

The industry is also facing a lack of security and regulation, as the state and local governments have not provided adequate resources and guidance for cannabis businesses to operate safely and legally. The industry is also competing with the illicit market, which offers cheaper and more accessible cannabis products to consumers.

A Call for Action and Support

The cannabis industry and its advocates are calling for action and support from the authorities and the public to protect the legal cannabis businesses and their employees and customers. They are asking for:

  • More police presence and enforcement around cannabis dispensaries, especially during peak hours and closing times
  • More access to banking and financial services for cannabis businesses, which would reduce the reliance on cash and the risk of robberies
  • More education and awareness for consumers about the benefits of buying cannabis from legal and regulated sources, which would support the local economy and the social equity goals of the industry
  • More collaboration and communication among cannabis businesses, law enforcement, and regulators, which would foster trust and cooperation in the industry

The cannabis industry and its advocates are hopeful that the situation will improve, as more states and countries legalize cannabis and as more federal legislation is introduced to reform the cannabis laws and policies. They are also optimistic that the robberies will stop, as the police catch the suspect and deter other potential criminals.

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