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Law Office of
John E. Gutbezahl, LLC

5 Centerpointe Drive Suite 400
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035

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Home > Practice Areas >Marijuana Dispensary Break ins

Legal Representation in Portland, Oregon for over 15 years


Are Marijuana Dispensary Break-Ins a Concern to You?

If you have seen stories in and on the news of break-ins at marijuana dispensaries, your eyes and ears were not fooling you. Although such break-ins are not a common daily occurrence, they have been happening in Oregon. As such, knowing about them is never a bad thing.

When Oregon residents approved the legal usage of marijuana in the state in 2014 (Oregon Ballot Measure 91), it opened the door for change in the state. Given dispensaries are the legal means of obtaining marijuana in the state, such businesses must fully comply with state laws or run the risk of being fined and even losing their licenses to sell.

Research Shows Having Dispensary in Area is Not Automatic Ticket to Crime

While some who are not be fans of legal marijuana may worry about an increase in crime in their neighborhood if there is a dispensary, the fear may not be that warranted. A study in 2019 that ran in Regional Science and Urban Economics reported that dispensaries tend to lower crime in their respective neighborhoods. The drop in crime tends to be a little under 20 percent.

Even with that report, that is not to say marijuana dispensaries are immune to crime. Authorities in early 2020 busted a ring in Salem that was targeting businesses selling marijuana in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The bust netted the seizure of more than a dozen firearms, more than $30K in cash, 30 pounds in marijuana, tools to commit burglaries and more.

If you are accused of breaking into a marijuana dispensary, seeking legal help is the first thing you need to do. If you are a marijuana dispensary owner, the first thing you want to do is try and not become a crime victim in the first place.
Among ways to go about this:

  • Log all your marijuana products so that they may be traced if stolen
  • Lock up all supplies when you close the shop up for the day
  • Install video cameras both in your shop and outside to capture any potential criminals on film
  • Work with other local businesses on your block to set up a neighborhood watch program
  • Have a good working relationship with local law enforcement

If you are ever charged with running afoul of the Oregon marijuana laws, make sure you reach out for a criminal defense attorney to help you fight the allegations.