Detroit pot delivery drivers targeted amid rise in robberies, carjackings
DETROIT (FOX 2) - Drivers could have up to $5,000 of marijuana products with them when they’re making deliveries –and that can make them targets of robberies.
Ripped off, roughed up and even carjacked - that’s what’s been happening to your neighborhood reefer delivery driver.
The Cannabis Regulatory Agency says there’s been 13 thefts of pot products from delivery drivers across southeast Michigan between December and January.
The robberies happened in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Westland, Detroit, Ferndale, Hamtramck, and Utica. Some drivers were even held at gunpoint and assaulted.
"You know the deliveries, the announcement from the CRA has definitely sent us to the drawing board trying to figure out like how can we accomplish this?" said Alexandria Weathersby.
Weathersby is from the House of Zen Marijuana Dispensary. They’re ready to launch a delivery service but the robberies has them pumping the brakes on that.
"No one wants to get shot or get robbed over marijuana," she said.
The CRA warned pot entrepreneurs in November that there had been more than 100 break-ins at weed shops the past seven months.
The marijuana business is a multimillion-dollar industry in Michigan and while the recreational use of it is lawful here, it’s still illegal on the federal level - making most businesses cash only.
"It’s a target-rich environment," said Ralph Godbee. "It scares me, the safety of the drivers. So from a worker’s safety standpoint the industry really has to take a look at some of its protocols, because if they don’t, it’s a tragedy waiting to happen."
Godbee is the former police chief for the City of Detroit.
"There are some things that the industry can do to tighten, but the question is, because it’s so lucrative right now - is that just an acceptable risk for the persons engaged in that industry?" he said.
The Cannibus Regulatory Agency is reminding those in the marijuana business that they have 24 hours to notify both the agency, and local law enforcement, of any criminal activity including the theft or loss of marijuana products.