Retail Cannabis Safety

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January 27, 2022

To:         Cannabis Licensees

Fr:          Chandra Brady, Enforcement and Education Division Director

Re:         Retail Cannabis Safety


Alongside cannabis licensees, the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) is aware of recent crimes against retailers in Washington State. While robberies are not exclusive to cannabis retailers, there are inherent risks cash-only businesses have that can make them targets. Below are safety suggestions retailers can consider to help keep themselves and their employees safe.


The LCB does not have emergency response authority or jurisdiction for a criminal investigation. Please review your safety and emergency response plans with your employees, including calling 911 to report suspicious activities or any attempted burglary or robbery.


Suggestions to increase safety include:

  • Review, enhance or develop a security plan and train all employees on the security procedures;
  • Use “drop safes” and put up prominent signs stating employees cannot open the safe;
  • Minimize the amount of cash in the cash register;
  • Put up prominent signs stating that video surveillance is in use;
  • Display empty product packaging on shelves and in cases. Actual product transfers can occur through a secure window to a back room where real products are stored;
  • Use walk up window(s) instead of allowing persons in to the store (drive up windows are not allowed under current law);
  • Have an initial entry area separated by a security door that opens into the retail area;
  • Hire armed security;
  • Train employees to be good witnesses – this can include listening for names, speech inflection / accent, small details (i.e. tattoos, scars, etc.) that may not be visible on camera;
  • Ask a security company to assess your facility vulnerabilities; and
  • Ensure adequate outdoor, parking lot, and entryway lighting.


Thank you for your commitment to the safety and security of your employees and customers. Enforcement and Education Officers and Cannabis Consultants are available to answer questions and provide support along the way. Please reach out to your Cannabis Consultant or Enforcement Officer if you have any questions or concerns.