Stealing isn't cool. It never has been, and never will be. Be it a candy bar or an election, you shouldn't take things that don't rightfully belong to you. Of course, dear reader, this is something you already know, nor do you need the admonishment that you should not purchase things that have been stolen, or which "fell off the back of a truck." That goes for big-screen TVs, stereos, and cannabis products.
Granted, it's not often that the last category shows up for sale after being unrightfully taken from others, which brings us to recent events at Oregon's Shadowbox Farms.
Last week via their Instagram page, Shadowbox posted the following:
"Today was a sad day for the cannnabis industry, as we move forward, trying to legitimize, we struggle with human decency. Last night our office was broken into by a group of thugs with inside knowledge of our operations. This break-in will cause us to re-think our business strategy and partnerships in the future. Luckily we have good leads, and the other business in the neighborhood cameras did their job. I want to thank the Portland police for all their help and expertise in handling the evidence. Lastly, we are offering a reward for any additional information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the people responsible for this cowardly act. For all the great people we work with we want to let you know will be fully operational by Wednesday of this week."
I reached out to Shadowbox CEO Tim Winner to ask about what happened. He was surprisingly at peace over the break-in and theft, but then again, he's CEO of a cannabis company, so hopefully he made use of some of his own offerings to gain this elevated outlook.
Winner shared that he believes it was a two-day operation, with the thieves casing out Shadowbox's Portland facility on Saturday, October 26, then breaking in on Sunday, October 27. They entered through the roof and used a ladder to make their way 40 feet down to the ground. "First off, I'm glad no one was hurt or killed climbing down the 40 feet," he said.
Once inside, the thieves took a leisurely three hours to haul off 423 pounds of finished, cured, and lab-tested flower that was ready for dispensary shelves. But that wasn't the biggest of the losses. The big prize was 1,400 pounds of cannabis oil, also tested and ready for sale to dispensaries around the state. That translates to 55,000 grams of oil.
I ask Winner what plans he believed the thieves had for the oil, and he said he thinks it was pre-sold to illicit buyers on the East Coast. Adding insult to injury, there is nothing preventing the final buyer from adding substances to thin out the 100-percent additive-free oil, such as Vitamin E acetate, which could easily double the stash to more than 100,000 grams of oil, while making the stepped-on oil a serious health threat to the final consumer.
Thankfully, Shadowbox had insurance, and Winner believes they will be fully compensated for their losses. He tells me that even if the flower and oil were recovered and were untouched, everything would still need to be destroyed, having left the specified chain of possession.
The recent Vapocalypse has underscored the importance of always purchasing your cannabis products from a licensed dispensary, to insure that your products have been lab tested for purity and safety. The Shadowbox theft shows that another reason to do so is to make certain that what you're purchasing has gone through the proper channels so that the people growing and processing the cannabis are being paid for their efforts. Buying your products illicitly may save you a few bucks, but at the expense of safety regulations, and possibly screwing over the very hard-working people who got the weed to you.