CBSN Bay Area reports
OAKLAND (KPIX) — Oakland’s cannabis businesses want more police protection after two workers were shot, one fatally, and industry advocates say that police are starting to step up but need to do more.
One employee was killed and another wounded late Friday night inside a business in the 500 block of Julie Ann Way, near I-880 northwest of the Oakland Coliseum.
Video posted to Instagram showed a group of people leaving work when, suddenly, a man chases the group back inside and opens fire. One woman died. A man was wounded.
“It was a straight volley — bam, bam, bam, bam, bam,” a witness told KPIX. “It’s sad. There’s no decency.”
Oakland police have not released more details about the shooting and the Alameda County medical examiner has not released the deceased victim’s name.
Her employer declined to comment.
“It’s unfathomable … it makes people in an industry that’s already on edge over the edge at this point,” said Ersie Joyner, a former Oakland police captain who is now a security consultant for several cannabis-related businesses in Oakland.
Joyner showed KPIX video of a business that was looted in late May following the George Floyd protests. The surveillance video shows marijuana hung up to dry as part of the cultivation process. Suddenly, about a dozen looters rush in and begin taking the product. Joyner says caravans of looters hit a bunch of the cannabis businesses all at once over about a five-day period.
“Individuals came in, stole product, some locations lost upwards of a million dollars worth of product,” Joyner said.
Debby Goldsberry, with an Oakland dispensary called Magnolia Wellness Collective said looters wiped out her business. She’s now closed until further notice.
“We lost everything,” she said. “It really feels like the cannabis industry in Oakland is under attack. We have had at least — from what I’ve tracked — at least 40 break-ins at cannabis facilities since May 31. I think there’s only 150-200 facilities so it’s a huge problem.”
Cannabis businesses are already vulnerable because federal laws prevent them from using banks so there is a lot of cash on hand.