Cannabis Industry Safety
Recently, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, there were a series of raids on legal dispensaries. These November attacks systematically shut down all the dispensaries inside the city limits. Since Michigan is a legally regulated state cannabis state, a person might think these raids would not have happened, but they did.
Why these recent raids occurred will be speculative at this point, so until proven guilty, we will assume these cannabis providers are innocent. Being raided, by any law enforcement is scary and depending on the amount of forceful tactics used, can leave those in front of the guns shaking for days. These law enforcement interactions will continue to happen no matter the legality of cannabis in your area.
Nationally, cannabis is gaining both popularity and legitimization. This legitimized industry still fall under both state and federal scrutiny, allowing law enforcement entry. Whether coming in to do "compliance checks" or full out raid for suspected violations, there are things you need to know to stay safe.
First and foremost, if you work in the cannabis industry, know your laws and local regulations are and follow them. The marijuana industry is a hot topic, and the communities they represent are watching everyone in it. We have the chance to show that prohibition was a mistake and weed is not as bad as some would have us think.
As a manager and owner of a dispensary, make sure your paperwork and licenses are up to date. Make certain your staff is trained and know how to act if law enforcement makes an appearance. Everyone working in the shop, garden or production facility will need to be aware that this can happen and to remain calm throughout the ordeal.
The tactics of a raid is to overcome and intimidate; do not react. Get out of the way, and let them do what they will, trying to stop them will get you hurt and arrested. If you can safely video with your phone, that is legal and encouraged.
Inspection or Raid
In the regulated cannabis industry, expect to be inspected. There will be paperwork and licenses that compliance officers will want to see. The unexpected raids are where the staff needs to be prepared and ready to keep things from getting worse.
If your store is taken by force the only person who should speak to law enforcement agents would be the manager on duty or store owner if on the property. All others should not express themselves and if spoken too, direct everything to the manager. You also can request that you are not spoken too without a lawyer.
Marijuana is now legal to use, have on you and talk about, but there will be some overlap with the old school thinking. This dichotomy will cause old thinking and new ideas to clash occasionally. The best practice is to lead the old into the new and do not let yourself become baited to fight or be angry. The new age of cannabis is transitioning now, and the law is on your side.