My editorial on robberies in the March issue of Marijuana Venture obviously struck a note with readers.
I’ve been writing a monthly column for eight years now, and I receive the occasional email from readers who disagree with my anti-Trump diatribes or my belief that this industry needs to get more realistic when it comes to stock valuations, profits and the business expertise needed to be successful.
However, nothing I’ve written in the past has generated the kind of response that came from my editorial on the robberies that have become commonplace at cannabis retail stores. I received emails from numerous people from several different states.
All expressed concerns about the ongoing rash of armed robberies and break-ins at marijuana retailers. Several people wrote about their own experiences and what they have done at their dispensaries to mitigate the problem.
Joe from Oklahoma mentioned that his dispensary had long ago put in a “man trap” at the front door that required customers to enter one at a time, show ID and then proceed through another door to the main retail space. He said that while it might slow down the selling process and limit how fast customers could enter the store, it ensured safety and denied robbers the opportunity to rush in unchecked.
In Seattle, a friend who owns several successful retail stores now has trained ex-military security guards who carry firearms at his stores. They cost him a lot more than unarmed bouncer types, but according to him, they also deter armed bandits who fear a well-trained professional with a firearm.
Another store owner related his frustration with the brazenness of robbers and how the issue affects his employees, many of whom are worried about their safety working in a high-risk business.
And yet another owner mentioned that he never allows women to work the store alone at night, parks additional cars near his entrance (to make the store seem fuller) and has installed many lights to keep his parking lot well-lit at night.
Thwarting armed robbers and dealing with security issues is a big subject, and one that continues to be front and center with stores and cultivation facilities across all states with medical and recreational marijuana. At Marijuana Venture, we’re going to continue to cover the issue and look for working solutions.
On March 15, we’ll be hosting a security-focused webinar. Check out our website, www.MarijuanaVenture.com, to register for the free webinar.
Marijuana Venture’s May magazine is also going to be a special issue dedicated keeping retail stores safe. It will feature a diverse array of articles that cover all aspects of dispensary security. From inside theft to armed robberies and how to prevent them, to the latest in security technology, it will be packed with valuable information from experts in the field. We’re talking to store owners, security experts, insurance specialists and lawyers to give readers a broad view of the problem — and hopefully provide some solutions — for the growing crime trend that has disrupted numerous cannabis businesses, particularly on the West Coast.
If you’re interested in telling your story or want to learn more about advertising and sponsorship opportunities, shoot me an email at Greg@MarijuanaVenture.com.