Depending on whose figures and forecasts you consider, the cannabis industry is poised to see tremendous growth over the next decade.
One recent report, for example, estimates that legal sales will surpass $30 billion by 2025. As the cannabis industry continues to expand and become more profitable, there will be challenges.
The shift from a largely cash-basis enterprise to one that can make full use of commercial banking services and merchant POS services is one. Another significant challenge to consider for the cannabis industry is security.
Cannabis Security Options are Available and Numerous
Given the fact that cannabis dispensaries and other trade operations dealing with cannabis products are frequently and repeatedly targeted for crimes such as burglary and theft, security needs are paramount.
But the solutions offered are often costly and complex.
The reality, however, is that security for a cannabis dispensary doesn’t have to be complicated. Nor does it need to be unreasonably expensive.
Unfortunately, since security solutions are frequently offered as both complicated and expensive, too many shops tend to err on the side of insufficient security measures. The result is a rampant rise in burglaries and thefts at these cannabis outlets.
As a December 2019 news story from a Los Angeles, California paper noted,
“In the two years since California legalized recreational marijuana, the City of LA hired a pot czar, opened 189 recreational shops and made $471 million in sales. But even though weed has been decriminalized, dispensaries are not crime-free.
We looked into crimes reported at marijuana dispensaries in the City of Los Angeles, and, not surprisingly, with the increase in brick-and-mortar stores, crimes at said stores have gone up.
There were 115 reported crimes at dispensaries in the first nine months of 2019, according to LAPD data. This is an increase of more than 10% from the first nine months of 2018, which had only 103 reported crimes.”
Until the legal and legislative climate changes to favor the protection and promotion of the legal cannabis industry, some insiders predict this situation isn’t likely to change any time soon.
Providing Effective and Affordable Security for Cannabis Dispensaries
To conduct business legally in states that allow cannabis dispensaries, shop owners must submit a cannabis security plan, or DSP, along with all their other required applications, forms, and paperwork.
The primary purpose of a cannabis dispensary security plan (DSP) is to provide a safe and secure environment for the store’s employees, customers, and visitors, while abiding by all legal requirements. There are typically three important components of any retail shop security plan:
- Facility security
- Product security
- Policies and procedures
The first two represent the crux of most security measure challenges: how to keep a facility safe from illegal intrusion and the product (and cash) safe from theft.
Depending on the state your dispensary is (or will be) operating in, and the complexity of your facility or building, the detail and extent of security measures can vary. However, there are some common security measures that all states require, while some states require additional measures.
According to one cannabis industry IT services provider, your security plan should include:
- Details on the locks and alarms you intend on installing
- Relevant diagrams
- Details on the installer and security company including licenses/accreditations
Most states require you to install commercial-grade locks on all your external doors and to install an alarm system, usually one monitored and managed 24/7 by a company like ADT and/or sends alerts to your local authorities. Some states have other alarm requirements including silent panic alarms, and Illinois, for one, requires alarms that trigger based on the smashing of windows.
In addition, the spread of legalization to new states is providing new opportunities for security companies that provide armed guards to cannabis businesses.
And according to a recent Forbes article,
“The cannabis business is booming, but this has also made dispensaries enticing to armed robbers and burglars. Weed can be easily resold illegally and most cannabis shops hold large amounts of cash. Regardless of state legalization, marijuana is still classified as an illegal Schedule I narcotic by the federal government, so credit card companies won’t process transactions from dispensaries and most banks won’t give them loans — or allow them to open up accounts to deposit their cash.”
But not every dispensary owner wants armed security onsite nor can afford it.
A Simple Security Solution for Your Cannabis Dispensary
The good news is that taking your existing security to an effective and reliable level of theft prevention doesn’t have to be complicated nor costly.
By simply enhancing your existing video surveillance system with a smart, interactive security solution, you can have a video security system that goes far beyond any standard passive system most facilities must depend on.
With Blue Eyes’ proprietary AI software, our system can detect potential threats to your property and alert our highly trained Video Surveillance Technicians (VSTs) within seconds. The VSTs then respond in real-time to deter potential thrift, burglary, and other crimes.
Our proprietary method uses both artificial intelligence – AI – and human interaction, to provide a safe, reliable, and proactive security solution that utilizes your existing video cameras. And if you don’t have cameras yet, or you want more of them, we can assist you in finding the optimum video installation solution.
So, are you ready to upgrade your dispensary security system to a proactive security solution?