Picture the kind of person who hauls the fruits of the marijuana trade from place to place. In times past, maybe it would have been a questionable character in an aging sedan, eyes peeled for any signs of undue attention from cops, grifters or mischievous teens. Nowadays, in yet another still-kinda-hard-to-believe byproduct of pot legalization, the task is increasingly falling to ex-law enforcement officers manning armored vehicles.
The irony can be pretty thick. Michael Jerome, a former 12-year deputy sheriff in Jefferson County, Colorado, concedes that he voted against the state’s 2012 legalization initiative – but he was quick to recognize a prime business opportunity in the making. His firm, Blue Line Protection Group (which began with four employees in December 2013 and has since ballooned to 90) offers various “security services” to marijuana retailers and cultivators throughout the state.
Their selling point is hard to argue with. “In this industry, there’s an inherent distrust on the part of business owners toward authority figures,” Jerome says. “We’re primarily former military and law enforcement, so we already have this built-in connection to be a go-between.” [Read more at Rolling Stone]