D.C. Cannabis Stores Robbed at Gunpoint on Wednesday, Thousands in Weed and $14k Chain Stolen


On Wednesday May 22, 2024, two separate robberies occurred at I-71 gifting shops in Washington, D.C.

Both robberies were done at gun point, one in Woodley Park and the other in Capitol Hill near Eastern Market. No victims were hurt, but both robberies resulted in thousands of dollars of stolen goods.

Robberies city-wide have dropped by 27% compared to last year, but a robbery that went wrong at another I-71 gifting store in March led to the death of one of store members.

The first robbery occurred in Woodley Park, a neighborhood with very few robberies over the last 16 years according to D.C.’s crime maps. The D.C. police incident report details a single suspect entering the store with a black handgun at 10:39 A.M. They “hopped over the counter,” stole $350 from the register and $5,000 worth of cannabis and cannabis products before fleeing the scene.

The store, Royal Tobacco, had applied to transition from a I-71 gifting store to a legal medical dispensary as part of the District’s medical cannabis expansion. The expansion was designed to fold the thriving gray market into a legal medical market.

Royal Tobacco was denied a license, but it is currently appealing its denial.

The second robbery occurred at the well-known cannabis chain Mr. Nice Guys at one of their unlicensed locations in Capitol Hill. The area has seen almost twice the average number of robberies over the last 16 years, according to the D.C. crime map.

According to the incident report, two suspects stole a $14,000 gold chain, two iPhones, a Versace belt, $900 in cash, an iPad and an unknown value of cannabis at gun point at 1:24 P.M.

Mr. Nice Guys has been granted one placard by the D.C. regulators for their shop near Logan Circle. They have at least four unlicensed stores in the city, according to Google Maps.

Cannabis businesses of all types, whether illicit, gray market or legal, deal with cash security issues due to banking restrictions from the federal prohibition of cannabis. Legislation to pass banking reform for the cannabis industry has stalled out year after year in Congress.

The Alcohol Beverage and Cannabis Administration requires licensed medical dispensaries to follow security protocols including having secure vaults and submit security plans to open to the public.

The owners of Royal Tobacco could not be reached for comment, and Mr. Nice Guys’ provided no comment when contacted.

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