SPOKANE, Wash. – The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board said someone hacked the state marijuana tracking system.
The person apparently downloaded a copy of the database but did not get any personal information. The hack caused quite a headache for growers and shops because they were not able to ship or take in new inventory.
Cip Paulsen, owner of Grow State, said he received the email from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board notifying him of the hack. It said the hacker found information on routes and delivery times. Now he is concerned for his drivers’ safety.
"To me it's a huge concern mostly for my employees," Paulsen said. “They know where it's leaving from, they know it's going over to Seattle, or Olympia, or whatever. They could possibly know how much merchandise is in there."
The merchandise is worth thousands of dollars. Grow State grows, processes, tests, packs and ships all of their products. They ship to several cities across the state, primarily on the west side. Paulsen fears this information release will endanger his drivers.
"They could hijack us or car jack us or do whatever between here and there, in the middle of the night when there's no traffic and rob and or kill people," Paulsen explained. "I feel like this is some really dire consequences and it's made my people and other people sitting ducks.”
The system breach caused a glitch that kept Paulsen and others in marijuana industry from sending and receiving products this entire week. Paulsen was finally able to begin shipping again when he found out about the hack.
"When I don't have any business for a week because of a state flaw and ineptness I got a problem," Paulsen said.
There is no telling if and when the problems with the system will be solved. The state Liquor and Cannabis Board said there will be more malicious cyber-attacks but they will continue to work to improve the system.
"They could stake out this place or stake out one of the places and attack the people. And it not only revolves around us but it revolves around the general public, it revolves around the stores," Paulsen explained.
The board has been hosting webinars to help license holders navigate and learn the new system.