Chicago Marijuana Dispensaries Close Indefinitely
Looters ransack city, dispensaries are high as targets
Looters armed with crowbars and baseball bats took aim at Chicago’s Mission South Shore marijuana dispensary during ongoing riots. The dispensary was supposed to be impenetrable.
Rioters smashed through the front door, taking everything of value, including, of course, marijuana. said Kris Krane, president and co-founder of 4Front Ventures. Closures might cause problems for medical patients.
“The store’s been pretty much ransacked,” said Krane, who watched security camera footage of 30 or 40 people breaking into the dispensary. “Nothing was going to hold that many people back."
All the staff members at Mission left before the looters arrived, Krane said. The dispensary shut down as neighboring businesses were looted and the situation appeared unsafe. Krane said they are still assessing how deeply the loss of inventory will affect customers and patients.
Marijuana dispensaries in Illinois have robust security systems, thanks to state regulations. Many dispensaries employ security guards, and have secured areas that customers must pass through before entering the showroom floor. Marijuana products are not allowed to be displayed and must be locked in a vault or secured room.
When looters on Saturday night shattered the windows and entered the Sunnyside dispensary in River North, which opened just last week, they did not penetrate the secure area and vault, where the cannabis is stored.
The unrest follows the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. City officials have drawn a distinction between the looters and the protesters.
Still, the unrest is striking an interesting chord in the marijuana industry, which has been criticized for being largely white-owned. Efforts to diversify the industry have been delayed because of the coronavirus.