Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Burglaries at Denver Dispensaries Hit a 3-Year High in 2019

By David Jagielski - Jan 21, 2020 at 11:45AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Thieves are targeting pot businesses because they know they primarily operate in cash.

Marijuana businesses in the Denver, Colorado area have serious concerns about thieves targeting dispensaries. In 2019, 122 burglaries and five robberies were reported, which is up from the prior year that had 120 burglaries but only one robbery. In 2017, there were just 83 burglaries, half the 169 that Denver-based dispensaries reported in 2016. Burglary involves a person illegally entering a building whereas robbery means the perpetrator uses force or fear to take something of value. 

Not only is the crime targeting dispensaries rising, but police noticed a recent escalation, as thieves held multiple employees at gunpoint during a robbery at a Native Roots location last month.

Dispensaries are easy targets because marijuana is still illegal federally, so obtaining banking services is difficult if not impossible for many cannabis companies. That means they have to operate in cash, which requires the need to hire security guards to protect the businesses and their employees.

Security guard using earpiece.

Image source: Getty Images.

Why the problem isn't going away

This isn't just a Denver problem. It's a risk that all dispensaries and pot shops face in states where it's legal to sell pot, either for medicinal reasons or recreationally. The only solutions are to legalize marijuana federally or pass legislation allowing cannabis companies to access banking. That's what the SAFE Banking Act hopes to achieve, but there are no guarantees that the bill will pass, especially as it faces some heavy opposition.

In the meantime, marijuana stocks like Green Thumb Industries (GTBIF -0.38%), Acreage Holdings (ACRGF) and Curaleaf Holdings (CURLF -0.99%) that make millions in revenue may need to spend even more in safeguarding their employees and their assets. That means more expenses in an industry that's already drowning in high costs and where many companies remain unprofitable.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Green Thumb Industries Stock Quote
Green Thumb Industries
$7.97 (-0.38%) $0.03
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.
$5.00 (-0.99%) $0.05
Acreage Holdings, Inc. Stock Quote
Acreage Holdings, Inc.

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 07/03/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.