PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — In the wake of violent armed robberies, new pressure is mounting on lawmakers to better protect Washington’s cannabis stores.
The SAFE Banking Act would help take money out of the equation for legal cannabis businesses.
Dennis Brown is in favor of reforming cannabis banks. Brown’s 29-year-old son Jordan was killed March 19 in an armed robbery at his workplace, World of Weed in Tacoma.
On Wednesday, Brown recalled the football and basketball games they attended.
“All those things that fathers and sons do together are gone. They were taken from me,” Brown said.
He added that it had been particularly difficult for Jordan’s sister.
“They lost their mother when they were young, 11 and 9. They clung to each other,” Brown said.
Their mother died of cancer. Now the family is dealing with another tragedy that Brown says could have been avoided.
“Just by having something in place where they can use credit cards, with the SAFE Banking Act, that would never have happened,” Brown said.
He takes part in new ads calling on lawmakers to pass the SAFE Banking Act. That was the subject of a briefing on Capitol Hill today.
“We have a conflict between state law and federal law,” Rep. Ed Perlmutter said. “The federal government needs to catch up and provide fine banking controls in this area.”
Federal drug laws prohibit state banks from getting involved with cannabis stores. As a result, most legal cannabis businesses are cash-only. Chandra Brady of the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Authority says that makes businesses a target for crime.
“There are other cases of employees being shot and beaten on the job,” Brady said.
As for Jordan, who lost his life on the job, his father says he thinks of him every day.
“Jordan was really calm. A very loving soul. A very nice young man, anyone would tell you about Jordan,” Brown said. “I don’t want anyone going through what I went through.”