Boulder, Colorado’s Dandelion medical marijuana dispensary is back open after owners and staff members spent the weekend removing bear repellent from the walls and floors.
On Thursday a man arrived at the dispensary’s front door, posing as a delivery man. When the staff opened the door, the robber began spraying bear repellent at them. When employees ran outside to call police, the robber made off with about $9,000 in medical cannabis. He is still at large. The dispensary’s manager, Lauren Ginsberg, said there is a panic button at the front desk, but there was no time to push it.
“We’re looking at every possible option,” Ginsberg said when asked about increased security. “We have a very welcoming vibe, but we will be setting boundaries. The No. 1 priority is employee safety.”
While prohibition keeps prices artificially high, security is a must for any dispensary. Cannabis is worth more on the street than it would be under full legalization, and therefore a valuable prize for would-be thieves.
One employee was taken to nearby Boulder Community Hospital, and three received treatment at the scene.
Ginsberg said she is optimistic that the man will be caught, saying the police have DNA from the cigarettes he smoked outside the dispensary. Police say someone also witnessed the suspect before the robbery.
Sadly, crime is a very real part of our society, exacerbated by a struggling economy. And sometimes stealing is much easier than getting a job.
While security is necessary, an end to prohibition would go a long way toward undercutting the black market and bringing the price of cannabis down. And the extra jobs brought about by legalization wouldn’t hurt either.