Cannabis businesses face many of the same risks as luxury retailers, pharmacies and banks because of product popularity, cash-heavy environments and requirements for security.
While there is no “one-size-fits-all” security approach, determining the most comprehensive, compliant and custom-fit security for your establishment requires planning and the expertise of a trusted partner with a demonstrated focus on security solutions for commercial cannabis enterprises.
Trusted Security Partner
No matter what part of the cannabis industry you work in, finding a well-respected security partner early in the process can save you headaches down the road and ensure you’re applying a compliance-driven approach to security. An established security partner can help you evaluate your risks with a critical eye and then recommend how to integrate the best technologies for your needs to create a safe environment for employees and customers while guarding against the very real risks of theft and violence.
Finding a partner that takes the time to learn your business and growth strategies is critical in helping identify and address any potential vulnerabilities. An experienced security expert can apply insights gained from past projects and long-term industry expertise to recommend the right technologies that can then be tailored to meet your most pressing needs — all while offering the flexibility for the solutions to scale with your business as it grows.
Look for a partner team that will not only provide expert installation and service on your systems, but has professionally trained and certified technicians to perform the required testing, inspection and troubleshooting to make sure your system is communicating correctly with responding agencies, including fire and police departments.
Now more than ever, it’s vitally important to have confidence that your security system is being professionally managed and monitored to verify that alarm signals are valid prior to notifying authorities. Knowing there is someone available to validate or verify an alarm can help prevent un-needed police response while giving priority response to actual emergencies.
Until legislation is passed to ease federal banking restrictions, cannabis businesses often remain cash-heavy operations. Dealing in a high-demand, highly regulated product like cannabis increases the potential for armed robbery and burglary, as well as internal theft, tampering, counterfeiting, organized retail crime and even espionage.
Just as it does for high-end retail, banks and pharmacies, a true security integrator can recommend, install, service and maintain end-to-end security solutions that help mitigate these threats. These systems can include access control (including biometrics), intrusion detection, video surveillance (including live video monitoring), secure cash-handling systems, fail-safe panic alarms, fire alarm and suppression systems and life safety protection. A sophisticated and reputable security integrator can offer advanced monitoring technologies and services, giving you an extra set of eyes and ears on your properties around the clock to help ensure your teams are safe.
Every penny counts when considering profit margins and the cannabis industry is not excluded when it comes to the risk of internal theft. Advanced security technologies can also offer review of point-of-sale transactions for internal theft through data analytics and reporting.
You may also want to consider identifying a security partner with centralized support services — such as a global security operations center — that provides you access to operators who are well-versed in the variable and frequently changing cannabis regulations across the nation.
The cannabis industry faces a wide range of risks and concerns. Owners and operators need an experienced security partner to provide solid advice, technical expertise, innovative thinking and professional service tailored to meet their organizations’ needs and budget, while remaining flexible as the business expands.
A trusted security partner can help you implement the most reliable security approach, using advanced technologies to ease the burden of complying with hefty regulations. But ultimately, establishing this partnership is just the first critical step in helping to protect your employees and patrons, and helping to ensure police will provide priority response should an emergency occur.
Andy Fleet is the director of business development (cannabis) at ADT Commercial. Bryan Grenon is the director of critical infrastructure protection at ADT Commercial.