The community of the Spokane, Washington area is mourning the loss of cannabis store employee Cameron Smith, who was kidnapped and murdered on September 10. His body was discovered by police on September 15. A memorial benefit will take place today at the Unforgiven Lounge in downtown Spokane.
Smith worked at LUCID, a recreational cannabis store based in Cheney, Washington near Spokane. Smith was killed for not accepting a fake ID from a customer—a heartless crime that has stunned the cannabis community. At least three suspects, Donovan and Violetta Culps and Alisha Jackson, were implicated in the crime. According to Cheney police Captain Richard Beghtol, Donovan Culps will be charged with first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping.
Smith’s family and friends are trying to grapple with the reality of the events. CULTURE caught up with LUCID co-owner Dennis Turner. “He was a father, son, he was a brother, he was a mentor and he was also a grandfather,” explained Turner. “We will have the chance to pony up and have one last big party in his honor to celebrate his life and hopefully the proceeds help his family. That was the goal—to get together and make something positive out of such a negative situation.” Turner has known Smith for 24 years.
Smith’s family back in Ohio immediately traveled to Washington when they heard the disheartening news. Smith had moved to the area earlier in July.
Turner believes more can be done in Washington to protect its budtenders. Per state law, firearms are prohibited on store premises. There’s more that can be done from the Washington State Liquor and Control Board (LCB) regarding employee safety. This level of violence, however, is relatively rare in cannabis shops.
Smith’s family and friends need help. According to Turner, businesses can donate here and individuals can donate here on two GoFundMe pages. Proceeds from the September 22 event will go toward funeral expenses.