Safety Questioned after Pot Dispensary Shooting

An attorney told NBC 7 crime actually drops when there's a regulated dispensary

A fatal shooting at a North Park medical marijuana dispensary Friday comes less than a day after the city began accepting applications to run licensed dispensaries.

Neighborhood activists have already complained about the city’s decision to regulate the dispensaries and say the shooting reinforces their opinion that the dispensaries attract crime.

But an attorney representing dispensaries says Friday’s shooting is hardly commonplace, and that regulated, licensed dispensaries actually contribute to a decrease in crime.

“We just don’t see this type of crime in other cities,” said attorney Lance Rogers. “The data shows that crime actually decreases when you have a regulated, transparent dispensary in a community that’s working with law enforcement.”

Rogers points to the safety requirements that will be required of potential dispensary operators.

They will, in part, be required to have operating security cameras, a licensed security guard and alarms, all of which contribute to a decrease in crime, according to Rogers.

“You’re going to have crime in any industry. To single out medical cannabis when these incidents happen is not fair because folks rob convenience stores at a much higher rate than medical marijuana dispensaries,” said Rogers.

He says he is encouraging his clients to go beyond city requirements and come up with a comprehensive security plan as they work toward a permit to operate a licensed dispensary.

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