LA marijuana dispensaries forced to deal in cash face safety concerns

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Thousands of dollars are pouring in every day to businesses like "The Higher Path" legal medical marijuana dispensary in Sherman Oaks. (KABC)

Thousands of dollars are pouring in every day to businesses like "The Higher Path" legal medical marijuana dispensary in Sherman Oaks.

For owner Jerred Kiloh, all that money is good for business, but it comes at a price.

"I think that most businesses in Los Angeles and all across the United States are able to pay their taxes with a bank account and our industry has been vilified that our funds that we only collect in cash are not able to hold bank accounts," Kiloh said.

That poses safety concerns at dispensaries.

Not only does Kiloh's shop take in about $15,000 a day in hard cash, but it has to pay out a big chunk of its profits in city taxes every month.

On one particular day, Kiloh packed up more than $40,000 to head to Downtown Los Angeles to pay the city.

"Well, I'm always looking in my rearview mirror to make sure someone didn't follow me from my dispensary. So I did a quick little precursory search of the kind of cars that were in the neighborhood," Kiloh said.

Some lawmakers are concerned about the real threat of robbers going after all that money and they want to make to change the law to allow marijuana dispensaries to do business with banks.

"It is not normal for people to walk around with millions of dollars in cash so we've got to deal with this reality and figure out a way to address that concern," said LA's City Council President Herb Wesson.

For Kiloh, paying his taxes in cash every month is actually a big relief.

"You can just feel the tension relieved when you don't have to have that responsibility of all that on you and to have a receipt for it feels really good," he said.

Related Topics:
businessbusinessmarijuanalawsSherman OaksLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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