All Joshua Chase wanted to do was have a smooth grand opening of his new cannabis dispensary — Oakanna — in Oakland, California. Instead, he got shot.
“They shot and hit me with a ricochet,” Chase said.
“It went through the bottom of my foot,” Chase added.
This happened more than six weeks ago and to some degree, he wasn’t surprised by it.
“This is just what you sign up for being in the cannabis industry,” Chase said.
“This is just what comes with the business when you don’t have banking,” he said.
What’s this lack of banking that Chase is talking about? When a typical business receives cash, the owners can easily take the money to a nearby bank and deposit it.
That’s not the case with marijuana dispensaries. Because marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, most federally-insured banks don’t accept deposits from marijuana businesses.
That means many dispensaries have a lot of cash on hand until they can take it to a specialized institution. For the same legal reasons, most cannot accept credit cards either.
In Washington state, in January and February of this year, there were 50 armed robberies of dispensaries.
“If we would have a banking