Cannabis dispensaries are similar to banks and jewelry stores in that they offer a high-value product and are often targets for thieves. Since the industry remains mostly cash, growers, dispensaries and transport companies are stepping up security to go above and beyond local and state requirements.
First things first, get yourself a quality security system tailored to meet your state’s compliance requirements. Although it may be tempting to buy cheap cameras and install them yourself to save a couple bucks, hire a security company that’s familiar with the industry and its regulations.
Install cameras on the exterior and cover all rooms inside the facility, and don’t try to hide them! Let people see the cameras in hopes of deterring crime as opposed to catching people in the act. Depending on local and state requirements, it’s best to splurge on around-the-clock video monitoring or on-site security guards for real-time notifications in case of an incident.
The FBI has called employee theft the “fastest growing crime in America”, so make honesty the best policy. Besides conducting comprehensive background checks, limit access to security features and establish procedures to track inventory throughout growing and processing. By realizing the internal dangers, you are able to identify any breach in security and better spot losses and the employee responsible.
Transportation & Delivery
In states where marijuana is legalized, businesses are required to be licensed by the state and local authorities before they can transport the drug, with rules differing from state to state. Due to legislation in some states, professional transport companies are not legally allowed to handle cannabis, making it a risky job for delivery drivers.
Under those circumstances, delivery drivers should never travel alone. It’s advised companies train their drivers on how to spot trouble and react to an armed robbery. As for the delivery cars, they should be fitted with GPS tracking, as well as safes for securing cash and product. Drivers should only travel with a certain amount of cash before they need to drop it off.
Since the cannabis industry is extremely vulnerable security is crucial for not only complying with state regulations, but also creating a safe and successful business. Since cannabis is still considered illegal by the federal government, many banks will not work with cannabis companies. This has many companies running a cash-only business, which thieves see as an easy target for some quick cash. As the laws become more lenient and the industry continues to grow, better solutions are arising to tackle the challenges of running a safe and secure operation.
For more tips on how to keep your cannabis business safe and secure, click here.