Every business that produces or handles valuable goods has security as the prime concern. These concerns are significantly magnified in the highly regulated and often not fully legal cannabis market. Therefore, it is important for cannabis businesses to first create a comprehensive, realistic security plan.
Security will stay a top concern as the number of states with legalized cannabis grows. So, yes every cannabis business including yours needs security!
When creating a cannabis security plan, there are several things to take into account. Securing products, preventing internal theft, deterring burglaries, and ensuring the safety of staff and clients are a few important aspects to consider.
• Surveillance Details
• Communication within the store
• IT security for your equipment
• Protection against internal and external threat
• Cash Security Plan
• Fire Protection
Why Do Cannabis Businesses Need Security
The following are the main reasons every cannabis needs security:
Marijuana Dispensaries Are Predominantly Cash-Only
Retail Stores in this market segment end up with enormous amounts of cash to store and transport from their facilities since they are unable to open a regular business account. They become more vulnerable to criminal attacks as a result.
The Product Is Low Profile and High Demand
Due to their small proportions and ease of concealment, marijuana products make for a relatively easy object for thieves to transport. Marijuana is in high demand on the street, which gives them more motivation to steal some.
Erratic Regulations Mean Shrinkage Is Common
As new regulations appear and outdated ones are amended or repealed, the marijuana industry is continuously in transition. As dispensaries work toward a definitive model, this has resulted in a very unregulated market with a high shrinkage rate. This shrinking serves as an ideal cover for thieves to help themselves.
Penalty For Non-Compliance
You face the risk of losing your business if you don’t follow the security guidelines if you operate a cannabis business.
If you don’t adhere to all the security requirements, your license to sell cannabis might be canceled in a matter of minutes.
In the worst-case situation, further penalties may be imposed by the regulatory agencies on your company based on the breach. Due to inadequate security measures, you can potentially be subject to jail time in addition to financial penalties.
How To Keep Your Cannabis Business Secure
Get yourself a high-quality security system that is specifically designed to comply with your state’s regulatory standards. Although it could be tempting to purchase cheap cameras and install them yourself to save a few dollars, consult with a security firm that is experienced in the sector and its laws.
Don’t try to hide the cameras; instead, install them outside and inside every room of the building. Instead of trying to catch people in the act, let them see the cameras in the hopes that it will discourage crime. Depending on local and state regulations, it’s preferable to invest in 24-hour video surveillance or on-site security guards for instant notifications in the event of an incident.
Manage A Large Amount Of Cash Securely
Business banking options for cannabis enterprises are limited because cannabis is prohibited on a federal level. Due to these limitations, cannabis businesses frequently deal with huge amounts of cash every day. The cash needs to be protected. Both product and cash can be handled safely with the right planning and protocols.
One of the most important things to remember regarding business security is that if you are able to discourage thieves from trying to steal from you, they’ll likely decide it’s not worth the effort.
Keeping cash safe at your business:
• Security cameras are crucial because they act as a deterrent to most criminals who would otherwise take a risk.
• As far as possible, limit the visibility of cash on the premises.
• Refrain from counting large amounts of cash in front of both customers and employees.
• To ensure count accuracy, expedite the money counting procedure, and prevent accepting fake currency, use a bank-grade currency counter.
• Set up a burglar fire safe with maximum security and restrict access to it.
• Store cash in a location with electronic or biometric door locks.
Cyber-Risk and Data Privacy
Cannabis-related firms, like all others, are vulnerable to cyberattacks, which are just as significant as physical security issues. Additionally, a ransomware attack could render a company’s computer systems inaccessible unless a marijuana business pays a ransom.
Cannabis firms should collaborate with security experts to safeguard customer information and provide cybersecurity by implementing the following:
• Written information security policies, including guidelines on how to protect sensitive information and who is responsible for doing so.
• Internal privacy programs, website privacy notices and terms and conditions must include the data information an organization gathers about individuals and how it uses that data.
• Multifactor authentication – adds an extra layer of security to websites by requiring users to provide proof of their ownership, identity, and information.
• Employee training
• Testing includes simulated cyberattacks to highlight weaknesses that need to be fixed.
• Cyber insurance protects businesses from financial loss in the event of a data breach involving sensitive client data.
Insurance Coverage Limits and Exclusions
Both proactive risk mitigation efforts and having enough insurance coverage are important. Cannabis businesses should think about several insurance options, including crop, product, property, and crime coverage as necessary.
Security is essential for not only adhering to state legislation but also building a secure and profitable organization because the cannabis industry is so vulnerable. Many banks will not do business with cannabis enterprises because marijuana continues to be classified as illegal by the federal government. Due to this, many businesses only accept cash, making them an ideal target for thieves looking to make some quick cash.
Better solutions are coming along to address the challenges of managing a safe and secure operation as regulations become more lenient and the industry grows.