For Nearly a Year, Teenagers Have Been Robbing Portland Dispensaries. Then Somebody Shot a Budtender. – Willamette Week

Michael Arthur worried he might die on the job.

For almost two years, the 44-year-old father worked as a clerk at Cured Green, a cannabis dispensary tucked in an alleyway behind a small grocery store and teriyaki shop along North Lombard Street.

Arthur’s girlfriend, Chiara Ryder, says he grew increasingly fearful of a robbery. Around November, Ryder says, Arthur told her he had seen four young men scoping out the shop late at night.

He ended the conversation with a warning: If I wind up dead, these are the guys who did it.

“It raised the hairs on the back of Michael’s neck. It made him afraid for his life,” Ryder says. “It wasn’t his words. It was the look on his face.”

On Dec. 14, Arthur was shot to death in a robbery at Cured Green that scored a few jars of weed and a tip jar containing less than $20.

His death horrified the cannabis industry. It shouldn’t have been a surprise.

People who’ve watched Portland’s weed crime spree say the fatal shooting was only a matter of time.

By the time Arthur was killed, Portland cannabis shops had already been robbed, burglarized or looted 95 times in 10 months, according to data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

That number is now up to 103, with three armed robberies so far in 2021.

By contrast, Portland liquor stores, a classic target for crime, reported just 22 burglaries and no robberies over the same time period.

In one year, Portland-area cannabis shops

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