Study says closing medical cannabis dispensaries increases crime rate


Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

A new study published in July found closing medical cannabis dispensaries increases crime in the area they formerly occupied.

“Contrary to popular wisdom, we find an immediate increase in crime around dispensaries ordered to close relative to those allowed to remain open,” the study stated.

The study showed a correlation between restaurants and cannabis dispensaries where crime increased when the property stood empty.

They attracted bystanders when their doors were open, but closing either business showed increases in property crime and theft when vacant space remains.

Both businesses contributed to the “walkability score,” or the amount of bystanders who deter crime with visibility.

Both researchers credited the increase in crime to the lack of bystanders present.

“We can conclude from our research that retail businesses are effective in lowering crime, even when the retail business is a medical marijuana dispensary,” one of the study’s researchers said.

When both researchers compared the crime impact of temporary restaurant and dispensary closures in Los Angeles County, crime immediately reverted back to its original state when the businesses reopened.