UTICA, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) is putting out a warning to cannabis business owners saying there has been a surge in delivery drivers being robbed.
The agency says they have confirmed at least 13 reports of drivers being robbed while in the process of delivering cannabis products to customers.
Most of the robberies took place in southeast Michigan.
The locations are Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Westland, Detroit, Ferndale, Hamtramck, Hazel Park, and Utica.
Co-Founder of Cloud Cannabis, John McLeod is aware of the surge in delivery driver robberies and has been strict on their security measures saying in most of these 13 recent cases, it's been multiple people working together.
"These are actual, legitimate orders that people are identifying themselves with identification and then when the driver shows up to their location, someone is coming out of the bushes and robbing them," said McLeod.
The CRA said these robberies have occurred at residential delivery addresses and in some cases drivers were robbed at gunpoint and their vehicles stolen.
They're urging organizations to take extra precautions.
As far as their precautions, McLeod took us in the their shop's backroom where they have a map tracking their deliveries throughout the state.
He also showed us cameras in their delivery cars, lock boxes for products, and told us about a double verification system they have in place where they receive a picture of the ID of the person they're delivering to, and they call and talk to them before the driver leaves.
"That usually adds a second layer of security for if they're thinking about doing something nefarious," said McLeod. "Once you’ve been contacted, and you’ve actually spoken to someone, I think that lessens the opportunity of a crime taking place."
McLeod has also recently helped create the Association for Cannabis Safety and Security, which he says is a group made up of the heads of security from the larger cannabis operators in the state.
Their goal is to keep operators up-to-date on safety risks like these robberies to keep the industry safe and growing like a weed.
"Fortunately there hasn’t been any type of a physical crime, it’s all been property crime where you give them the product and they go their way," said McLeod.