Gun-Toting Budtenders: A New Line of Defense

Robberies in Oregon and Oklahoma that resulted in fatalities have budtenders considering arming themselves, and dispensary owners are talking steps to beef up security.

On April 30, a suspected armed robber in Oklahoma was shot and killed by an employee at Higher Choice, a dispensary in a strip mall that contains a gun store.

“It was one of our employees who was able to act fast,” said Eric, co-owner of the Highest Choice, who did not want his last name printed. “The situation presented itself and it was handled accordingly. If they present their weapon, you have every right to shoot them dead.”

Eric claims he wears a firearm now, as he expects more robberies to happen.

“It’s not a chance of if, but when, it’s going to happen,” he said.

And the robberies aren’t just happening in Oklahoma. There was also an alarming pattern developing in Portland, Oregon resulting in the death of budtender Michael Arthur at Cured Green dispensary. Thefts at dispensaries in Oregon more than doubled to 99 total in 2020, according to the Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association.

Because dispensaries carry large amounts of cash, they make good targets for criminal activity. This is one of the reasons the SAFE banking act

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