SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A group of San Francisco cannabis store owners gathered on Thursday to air their grievances about an increase in robberies. They say they’ve become easy targets and that the city isn’t doing enough to protect them.

The owners of these cannabis stores say their surveillance cameras show what appears to be the same group of people — going from store to store in the city and taking what they want, including one of the workers.

Cannabis dispensaries say this is a scene that plays out all too often on their security cameras.

A car full of suspects pulling up with crowbars to rob their stores — often times armed with guns.

Chairman of the San Francisco Cannabis Oversight Committee, Ali Jamalian, says the store manager of Stiizy was taken at gunpoint during a recent robbery.

“The store we’re standing in front was the recent victim of a kidnapping, so worker safety is the very driving force and the reason we’re here,” said Jamalian.

Dispensary owners joined Jamalian Thursday to call for change, saying their tax dollars should be used to keep their stores and workers safe. Reese Benton owns Posh Green on Innes Avenue where a break-in happened two weeks ago.

“I have a business and I have no protection. I pay taxes just like everybody else. I need the protection just like everybody else,” said Benton. “But I’m coming to see this is not just a cannabis problem this is a commercial storefront problem.”

No one has been hurt or killed, but this group says it’s only a matter of time before a robbery scene becomes a homicide scene.

Lauren Avenius says the suspects are successful at their crimes because of the sensitive information owners have to share to get their annual permit.

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“We have to share the floor plans, our security plans, the hours of operation. These are unusual requests that put a burden and a risk on our industries,” Avenius said.  

According to Jamalian, it costs owners more than $30,000 to re-open after a robbery.

Much of the blame Thursday was put on the city and police not doing enough to protect storefronts. If changes don’t happen soon, many dispensaries say they’ll take their business elsewhere.

“To be asked to protect yourself as a tax-paying industry is not a reasonable ask,” Jamalian said.  

KRON4 reached out to the San Francisco Police Department to see what they’re doing to investigate but has not heard back.