Mainstream lessons: A higher level of protection and aesthetics

Modern security systems offer an upgrade over lock-and-key methods

As the cannabis industry steadily moves toward the commercial mainstream, it encounters challenges that are familiar to other commercial environments, particularly retail.

For many years, retailers had to contend with a seemingly insurmountable paradox: How to secure merchandise while maintaining a steady customer flow through efficient, attractive and open environments. Thanks to modern technology, retailers have found their sales floors evolving into showrooms with items beautifully — yet securely — displayed for visitors to examine up close.

Modern access control systems allow retailers to achieve an optimal balance of design, security and service. An access control system grants entry to an opening only to authorized parties. Most systems use radio frequency technology with access via programmable accessories, such as a keycard, in which a user swipes or taps the accessory in front of a reader to lock or unlock a secured opening. Some systems can even relock automatically and remain locked during a power outage.

You’ve likely used an access control system when entering certain buildings, such as a government office or medical center. But access control systems have evolved to fit smaller applications, like retail fixtures. This is important given that certain businesses, including cannabis retailers, contend with strict regulations regarding the storage and access of sensitive items.

Cannabis shops have to create a secure and compliant store environment that’s also attractive, comfortable and inviting to customers. Today’s cabinet-level access control systems do just that. Small and modular components form these systems, making them easy to mount within the very fixtures they secure.

The aesthetic benefits don’t stop there. Some systems include convenient features for access, such as auto-open and touch-release, eliminating the need for knobs, handles, keyholes, bulky locks and other eyesores that hinder the look of a store’s fixtures.

Another benefit: Eliminating exposed hardware also eliminates identifiable access points for thieves.

While visual appeal and security are important, they can’t make up for poor customer service. Fortunately, access control also helps in this area. Staff can access protected merchandise for customers in just seconds, increasing the accessibility of those products without sacrificing protection. This is especially useful when those products happen to be sensitive, such as those in the cannabis industry.

And what if an associate loses his or her keycard? In the past, losing a single key would force the replacement of all locks connected to that missing key. Modern access control systems don’t require such extreme and costly measures. A manager can quickly delete the missing keycard’s permission and activate a new one in its place, saving time and money.

Don’t consider access control as only a security measure: Consider it a way to protect your store’s merchandise, improve its design, streamline operations and boost your bottom line.


Mauricio Osorio is the solutions marketing director for Senseon Secure Access, a U.S. manufacturer of electronic access control systems for cabinets.


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