Michigan’s Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) issued a bulletin Nov. 21 to notify the state’s licensed cannabis businesses of increased criminal activity.
There have been 117 break-ins reported between April and November 2022, according to the bulletin, with the majority of incidents occurring at adult-use cannabis storefronts.
Individuals or groups have been breaking into—or attempting to break into—cannabis retail locations at night, and the break-ins have the following in common, according to the bulletin:
- Usually, the individuals are in multiple vehicles and park in the outer portions of the parking lot or across the street from the licensed business.
- One individual will approach the business and gain entry through a rear door using a tool of some type (crowbar, hammer, etc.).
- Once the rear door has been opened, the remaining individuals will exit the vehicles and enter the store. The individuals will take whatever they can find in a short amount of time and leave the business, often before law enforcement can respond to an alarm.
Regulators noted in the bulletin that “a significant number” of the break-ins have happened in Allegan, Barry, Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph and Branch counties.
In addition, the majority of the break-ins have occurred between midnight and 7 a.m., when the dispensaries are closed for business, according to the bulletin.
Administrative rules require Michigan’s cannabis licensees to notify the CRA and local law enforcement within 24 hours of becoming aware of the theft or loss of any product or criminal activity at their business.