Crime And (No) Punishment

Things are getting dangerous here in sunny southern California, as violent and property crime rates inch ever closer to the peak years of the 1990’s. The number of homicides here in Los Angeles reached 397 in 2021, which, to put it in perspective, is around 40% of the 1000 mark hit in some of the worst years in the 90’s, but a 50% increase year-over-year from 2020 and the highest in well over a decade.

Robberies involving firearms have increased by 60% over the last three years, car jackings are up 44% since 2021, and low level property crime is up all across the boards. The theft of catalytic converters, a popular target for thieves thanks to the valuable metals inside, is up to 40 per week in the city of Riverside alone. The cost for a replacement part after one of these thefts can be upwards of $4,000, a hefty sum for Californians already suffering from staggering increases in rental costs and mortgage rates.

Businesses are also a common target of this growing crime wave. New videos are coming out almost daily of criminals stuffing bags full of merchandise and simply running out of the store with security and staff looking on helplessly. In one notorious video from late 2021, a jewelry store was robbed by six thieves who simply walked into the store, smashed the displays with hammers, and grabbed up all the jewelry before unhurriedly sauntering off to go rob other stores in the same mall.

While many businesses are hurting from the upward trend in crime, not all are targeted at the same rate. Some have escaped the escalating crime wave, while others – like cannabis dispensaries – are being targeted on a near-weekly basis.

Monthly rates of crimes targeting Los Angeles dispensaries climbed from an average of six events to well over 14 from 2021-2022. Los Angeles is far from the only west coast city seeing a precipitous rise in crimes targeting dispensaries – San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, Portland, and Seattle have all reported similar phenomena over the past three years.

The severity and violence involved in these crimes have increased alongside their frequency, with many injuries and even deaths being reported over the past few months. So the question is: how are local city governments responding to a quickly worsening problem?

The unfortunate answer is that they aren’t. Police departments, caught on the backfoot since the widespread social justice protests over police reform in the summer of 2020, have not made much headway in curbing rising crime rates in the years since and many cities have not shown much interest in improving law enforcement performance in the meantime.

This means that it’s up to businesses to fend for themselves and start taking their security into their own hands. To create airtight security systems that can deter criminals, protect employees and customers, and ensure that insurance claims are accepted in the event that your business is targeted, you need a comprehensive cannabis dispensary security plan.

These types of plans are in-depth and can get highly complicated depending on the scale of your operation, which means many dispensaries are better off contracting out their security than trying to handle it in-house. Specialized cannabis security experts like Cannabis Compliant Security Solutions (C.C.S.S.) draw on decades of law enforcement experience to provide systems that have been proven to work.

For many, starting a cannabis-related business was a lifelong dream. Don’t let that dream be dashed just because local governments can’t be bothered to help their own citizens – give C.C.S.S. a call and get your security system up and running ASAP.

Cannabis Compliant Security Solutions