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Police Say Marijuana Dispensaries Aren't Big Targets For Thieves


Despite initial fears cash-heavy marijuana dispensaries would be targets for theft, Portland Police say those worries have not come to fruition.

Despite initial fears cash-heavy marijuana dispensaries would be targets for theft, Portland Police say those worries have not come to fruition.

Ryan Kang/AP

Portland Police have three people in custody after the armed robbery of a marijuana dispensary Wednesday.

Police said three men, one armed with a handgun, robbed the Mt. Hood Wellness Center dispensary.

Portland Police Sgt. Pete Simpson said as recreational marijuana was being legalized, they worried dispensaries might be targeted, because federal banking laws block them from using banks. Owners can’t take cash to the bank every evening like other small businesses, so they end up holding large sums. Authorities worried that would make them vulnerable to armed robbery.

“It really hasn’t come to fruition that way,” Simpson said. “Perhaps it has to do with there’s been dispensaries here for a long time doing medical marijuana. And there’s quite a number of security protocols these businesses take to protect themselves.”

The suspects were arrested by Gang Enforcement Team officers shortly after the robbery.

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