Cannabis retailers have been arming themselves in the wake of robberies targeting dispensaries in Oregon and Oklahoma that resulted in two people shot dead.

Thousands of medical marijuana dispensaries have popped up in Oklahoma since voters legalized medical cannabis in 2018. Out-of-state armed robbers have been targeting some of these dispensaries in Oklahoma City, Guthrie and Perry. Suspects from Kansas were arrested last month after a string of robberies.

The Oklahoma robbery spree turned deadly on April 30, when a suspected armed robber was shot dead in Ardmore by an employee at The Highest Choice, a dispensary in a strip mall that includes a gun shop.

“It was one of our employees who was able to act fast,” said Eric, a co-owner of The Highest Choice who identified himself only by his first name. “The situation presented itself and it was handled accordingly. If they present their weapon, you have every right to shoot them dead.”

He said that he wears a firearm, anticipating more robbers. “It’s not a chance of if, but when, it’s going to happen,” he said.

Detective Sgt. Juan Galicia of the Ardmore Oklahoma Police Department identified the dead man as Samuel Dollarhide

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