What started as legitimate protests meant to shine a light on police abuse has turned into a full week of rioting across the United States. From Target having to close more than a hundred stores in the wake of the initial riots in Minneapolis, to thousands of small and family-owned businesses being ransacked, looted, and burnt to the ground across the country, the intentions of many rioters have become clear- they are using this opportunity to maim, destroy, and steal.
Don’t believe me? Ask the hundreds of marijuana dispensaries across the country who have been absolutely ransacked and ask what they have to do with the death of George Floyd.
Andrew Blake from The Washington Times reports that marijuana dispensaries across the country have had to shutter as a result of looters hitting shops from coast to coast. Blake reports “MedMen, a publicly traded company that operates more than 30 medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries spanning six states, said Monday that all of its stores are indefinitely closed after several of its shops in southern California were looted over the weekend.” Another publicly-traded company, Cresco Labs, which has dispensaries in six states, stated that they have had to “temporarily closed three of its locations in Illinois after its newly opened storefront in Chicago’s River North neighborhood” was vandalized last Saturday.
According to Blake, these dispensaries (which are federally prohibited yet legal under certain state’s laws) “are among countless retailers around the country ravaged amid the unrest sparked by the death of Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white police officer” in Minneapolis. Now because of the civil unrest in many Democratic-run states primarily, such as Oregon and California, these dispensaries are top of the target list for criminals. Several MedMen locations in Los Angeles alone were “brazenly broken into and robbed while onlookers recorded video footage…”
Unlike other businesses destroyed as a result of the riots, who now are facing problems in regards to insurance on top of the man other issues, these dispensaries don’t have many of the banking, insurance, and other legal protections as other businesses because of the economic grey zone they operate in. As to how they will recover from these attacks, only time can tell.
Many cities such as Oakland, California, have only begun to conduct an estimate of all the damages to their cities as a result of the rampant crime sprees. While companies such as Target and Apple will rebound over time, the true casualty will be small businesses and private entrepreneurs whose only fault was being in the sight of criminals.