My editorial this month covers three quick points. Each is important:
– Robberies: Throughout the North American cannabis industry, armed robberies and burglaries have been steadily increasing. In the Pacific Northwest — especially Seattle — it’s reached epidemic proportions. In the week before this magazine went to print, three separate robbery attempts resulted in one store employee and a pair of alleged robbers being shot and killed.
This issue features a special section on security and several great articles and profiles of people and companies doing what they can to mitigate the problem (as well as advertisers promoting products and services to improve security systems — please give them a call and see if they might be able to help secure your business).
Make no mistake, this is a major problem in the cannabis space right now. Shops in major cities up and down the West Coast have been hit hard in the past year, but armed robberies have happened in nearly every state where cannabis legal. One friend who owns several cannabis shops in Seattle told me it’s gotten so bad he now has trouble hiring people because they’re scared.
Anyone in this business should take this threat seriously and do what they can to prepare for what has sadly become inevitable for most businesses. If you own a store, it’s not a matter of if robberies are going to happen, but when.
– Contracts: Another problem faced by so many in this business is the “crash and burn” that happens when a partnership goes bad. Washington and Colorado legalized adult-use marijuana nearly 10 years ago. And while I don’t have as much personal knowledge of the situation in Colorado as I do Washington, I can say from experience — and numerous conversations with business owners in the Pacific Northwest — that if you go into a partnership with a poorly written “back of the napkin” contract or agreement, you’re asking for trouble. Time and time again, I’ve had long conversations with good people who ended up losing lots of money, going to court or worse, because they got into business with a friend or family member and didn’t have a good contract or written agreement that was vetted and reviewed by a competent attorney. Please take my advice here. It’s based on a ton of personal experience and countless hours of conversations. If you’re about to jump into this exciting and fast-growing business, hire an attorney and make sure you have your ducks in a row. You’ll thank me later.
– Trump and Putin: As I write this, Russia is invading Ukraine. The war started on February 24, and although the Ukraine resistance is said to be stiffer than anticipated, it seems like Vladimir Putin and his Russian forces will eventually overrun the country. Most of the world is united in condemnation, and the stiff economic penalties already imposed on Russia and Russian kleptocrats will undoubtedly cost their economy dearly. Watching Putin behave like a bloodthirsty tyrant makes me cringe to think how former U.S. President Donald Trump would kowtow to the Russian leader, even recently calling him “savvy” and a “genius.”
I hope this war helps our home-grown Trump supporters finally come to their senses and realize why Putin went to great lengths — including hacking the 2016 election — to support Trump and influence American voters. Hint: A corrupt autocratic dictator who wants to destroy the U.S. would obviously support a weak, equally corrupt, inexperienced loser with a fragile ego whom he knew could be easily manipulated to Russia’s advantage.