Cannabusiness Security Threats and How to Solve Them

By BCB Staff Writer | May 13, 2020

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As with any new business, certain criteria need to be met prior to any sales. Issues like loans and how to approach a new industry are obvious issues. Now, factor in a storefront. Add to that, reasonable marketing and advertising costs. Then close it out with adequate security measures. A traditional business would tick off those items and be up and selling products in no time. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with the cannabis industry.

Finding brick and mortar locations to sell legal cannabis products is a huge issue

Not only is banking a sensitive topic, but finding brick and mortar locations to sell legal cannabis, cited as a “high-risk business,” products is a huge issue. Whether a dispensary or a retail operation is more your speed, it’s crucial to have a tangible roadmap to industry success. That roadmap includes advertising efforts and places to sell products. Websites like 420property.com and bricksmortarcannabis.com both target canna-business owners and create databases for leasing and purchasing opportunities.

Following an influx of dispensaries complaining about their businesses being vandalized and burglarized, a Chicago shop was also robbed on January 6, 2020. Dispensary security is paramount, and larger companies like ADT Security Services, refuse to work with marijuana-related businesses (MRBs). All-cash stores carry unregulated amounts of cash on site every day, thus becoming prey for theft. Most 24-hour security options cost a fortune, but investing in security measures is the first step to business success. In states like Pennsylvania, there are requirements for dispensaries to maintain 24/7 surveillance and log all footage for four years. That’s a hefty price breakdown, but it’s worth it, especially when a staggering amount of theft actually comes from within.

Tony Gallo, CEO of Sapphire Risk Advisory Group in Dallas, TX, said that between 60 and 70 percent of cannabis dispensary theft actually happens at the hands of gutsy employees. Canna Security America CEO Dan Williams boosted that estimate to roughly 90 percent. As difficult as it is to fathom, Williams also said that an employee once attempted to facilitate an armed robbery to collect cash and products.

“Two men who were armed with handguns came in, and it turned out that the person behind the front counter knew them. She texted them about three seconds before they went through the door and said ‘all clear,’” Williams said. “It was completely an inside job.”

Cannaguard Security were created with the at-risk canna-business owners in mind

Companies like Cannaguard Security, out of Beaverton, OR, were created with the at-risk canna-business owners in mind. The last thing cannabis start-up entrepreneurs need to worry about is employees tampering with an already statistically rocky business endeavor. When creating personalized software for businesses, Cannaguard takes into account state regulation compliance, business requirements, and the owner’s personal safety preferences. Monitoring can be synced straight to a smartphone, and 24-hour alarm, video, and access control system software are suddenly in the palm of the canna-business owner’s hand.

Another security measure to help mitigate losses is to install a safe tracking service. Rolland Lock and Safe Co. work with dispensaries to install automation that sends an alert each time anyone opens the safe, which includes a timestamp and recording of who opened it. This is also applicable to growth areas, where access doors can be locked and unlocked using specific keycards, which supply data on who entered and at what time.

Furthermore, eliminating all human error entirely and installing kiosks that process transactions might be worthwhile for a larger business. Leaving a paper trail via online transactions locks down the potential of inner-employee theft.

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