Crime Rate Statistics

Another concern commonly expressed is the claim that crime rates will rise due to the presence of a cannabis dispensary. Various studies have proven this to be untrue. Many cases have found that crime rates remained the same showing that dispensaries do not impact these rates.

One study looked in to short term effects on neighborhood crime rights since legalization. This study ran from January 2013, prior to legalization until December 2016 and focused mainly on Colorado, more specifically the large city of Denver. Results showed that, “…an additional dispensary in a neighborhood leads to a reduction of 17 crimes per month per 10,000 residents, which corresponds to roughly a 19% decline relative to the average crime rate over the sample period,” (Brinkman and David, 2017).

The same study noted more findings. One being, “….that drug-related offenses fell by 2.3 crimes per month for a neighborhood of 10,000 residents: There was no change in the number of cannabis-related crimes after a local dispensary opened, but there were small declines in the number of offenses related to methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin,” noted that, “…the increased presence of law enforcement near dispensaries helps deter some of these offenses,” (Lawson, 2019).

Additionally, a separate study done in 2017 found that, “…retail shops dedicated to the sale of alcohol and tobacco products attracted more criminal activity than medical marijuana dispensaries,” (Lawson, 2019).

Source: Brinkman, Jeffrey, and David Mok-Lamme. “Not in My Backyard? Not So Fast. The Effect of Marijuana Legalization on Neighborhood Crime.” Working Paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia), 2017, doi:10.21799/frbp.wp.2017.19.

Source: Lawson, Kimberly. “Crime Rates Drop After Marijuana Dispensaries Open Nearby, Study Finds.” Marijuana Moment, 28 Aug. 2019,