On May 17, legislation to create a Cannabis Safety Taskforce, sponsored by Councilmembers Reagan Dunn and Jeanne Kohl-Welles, passed out of the King County Council.
“A dedicated Cannabis Safety Taskforce will be able to focus on keeping our local communities safe from the pattern of armed robberies targeting cannabis stores and manufacturers across the region,” Dunn said. “This legislation sends a strong message that King County plans to hold those committing these crimes responsible for their actions.”
The legislation comes amid an alarming uptick of armed robberies at cannabis shops in both King County and Pierce County, including two recent attempted robberies in Covington and Factoria that both resulted in the fatal shooting of the perpetrator.
According to the Washington Cannabusiness Association, roughly 70 robberies have been recorded at cannabis retailers across the state of Washington since the beginning of 2022. This uptick has been widely attributed to the publicity of cases and the fact that federal banking regulations have resulted in cannabis shops operating as all-cash businesses, making them a lucrative target for robbers and thieves.
“During and since my time in the state Legislature, I have been a staunch supporter of the legalization and regulation of the