SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Authorities are investigating approximately 10 break-ins at marijuana dispensaries in the city of Sacramento in the last month and trying to see if there is a correlation between them.
It’s an issue that is plaguing a new industry in California.
It’s easy to see from the front door at Twelve Hour Care in the 6600 block of Fruitridge Road where thieves broke in at the end of last week. Management says they stole, “everything they can get their hands on, from product to cash.”
Paul Clemons handles compliance and licensing for this store and eight others. He says when marijuana was legalized in California in 2018, a whole new set of rules and regulations kicked in surrounding security.
“The lengths we go through to make sure these facilities are protected are endless,” Clemons said.
He says they have a 90-day recording that rolls 24-hours a day and a security guard on duty during business hours.
“Even so, it’s tough to beat a car driven through your facility. And that is what happened at one of the stores in Sacramento,” Clemons said.
The Sacramento Police Department confirms there have been around 10 break-ins at dispensaries in the last month. The Sacramento Cannabis Industry Association said locations in more industrial areas, like Twelve Hour Care, are targeted more often.
“These retail locations belong in commercial corridors, they belong in shopping centers, they belong downtown. They belong in Midtown. There’s lighting, there’s people,” spokesman Robert Baca said.
Baca says because cannabis is still a cash industry, with no access to banking, theft is a reoccurring issue.
“It’s been a problem historically for the industry and it’s a waiting game for policymakers to act on it,” said Baca.
“It’s such a thing that everyone is going to want to go for at a certain point. If that risk and reward is great enough for them then why not? So without banking, we’re always going to be a target,” said Clemons.
The Sacramento Police Department said it has taken steps to address the issue, including implementing certain crime prevention measures that they wouldn’t discuss.