Now that 18 states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, the potential for its growth has escalated more and more rapidly. Studies show that the cannabis market has been growing by 20% to 30% each year. It is currently predicted that by 2026, the cannabis industry should be valued at more than 50 billion USD.
With its unique classification in the legal landscape, cannabis business owners must be extra careful when protecting their merchandise. It's not just about preventing theft; security measures need to be in place to guarantee compliance with local guidelines. This includes storage of the products, dispensation, yield limits, growth environment, building requirements, etc. A good security company needs to know more than just the basics when it comes to protecting this kind of merchandise.
The Necessity of Security in the Cannabis Market
The high demand for Cannabis justifies the need for extra security. However, this move is more than a precautionary measure: during a session held by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, it was revealed that cannabis stores are a high-value target for robbers. Statistics show that one out of two cannabis outlets is targeted, with losses reaching as much as $50,000 for every incident. There is a genuine need for dispensaries to increase security without eating away at their income.
Monetary losses are not the only reason for the added security. Since marijuana was previously classified as an illegal substance, the government is heavily invested in its regulation. Therefore, you will find that the government requires additional protection for growth facilities and dispensaries on top of the basic security measures. Compliance with these requirements is frequently checked before businesses are allowed to operate.
Cannabis Security Versus Retail Security
Security measures used in retail businesses are also used for cannabis security. This includes cameras all over the store, with one always pointed directly at the cash register. However, additional security measures are typically required by the state. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Businesses need tight access control to the building, including all entrance and exit points leading to the store or the growth facility being consistently monitored.
- Security operations must be documented. This includes having strict operational procedures governing the hours of access and the people who have access.
- Some states require video surveillance with a quality of at least 1280 by 720 pixels.
- Storage needs to be safe and secure with video surveillance.
- Business owners always need to be prepared for emergencies. There must be a plan in case of fire, earthquake, or other calamities.
- It's mandatory to report theft or loss of merchandise. The report must be made within 24 hours of discovery in some states.
- Information about all personnel, inventory, and buyers must be kept for security purposes.
- Personnel must undergo proper vetting before being hired. This is because employees commit around 90% of cannabis theft.
- The alarm system must have an automatic trigger.
- Security personnel is required for storefront businesses while they are open. For some stores, physical security is required 24/7.
- Some states also require a network alarm system. This keeps digital information safe by regularly uploading data to the cloud. Since most stores now use computers for sales and inventory, the automatic system limits loss due to computer problems.
Of course, those are just some of the regulations associated with cannabis security. These regulations may become stricter with time, making it difficult for businesses to keep up with the pace. Having a good security provider to keep your business compliant with local guidelines is the first step in keeping your store profitable.
Understanding Local Compliance Guidelines
Each state treats cannabis growth facilities differently. They do not just monitor the growing process itself but also the storage and dispensation of the product. Therefore, security companies strictly follow local compliance guidelines. These companies must voluntarily update themselves about changes in the situation so that they are in the position to adapt the security structure to meet State requirements. The security team can also communicate these changes to cannabis growers so the two can work as a team and grow together in this quickly changing market.
Penalty for Non-compliance
Businesses that do not comply with security guidelines are at risk of losing their business. The license to sell Cannabis can be revoked very quickly. Or worse, additional penalties may be sanctioned by the regulatory bodies, depending on the violation. Besides financial penalties, it's also possible for business owners to undergo jail time because of poor security measures.