Why Marijuana Dispensaries Need Armed Security

July 29, 2016

Marijuana Dispensaries Need Armed Security

There are countless reasons why marijuana dispensaries need armed security, I will address a few of them here.

As you’re probably aware, marijuana dispensaries are not like most businesses. One major differentiating factor is the fact that dispensaries must consider security much more seriously than your average company. On a daily basis, dispensaries handle large sums of cash and manage a product that is extremely vulnerable to burglary and theft.  This makes dispensaries prime targets for criminals. As a result, security must be at the forefront of every dispensary’s business plan.

One security measure every dispensary must have is the presence of trained armed security agents. Security agents are crucial for loss prevention, crime deterrence, and the overall legitimacy and security of any dispensary.  

Consider the following critical reasons why marijuana dispensaries need armed security guards.

  1. To Prevent Robbery and Burglary

Federal law “prohibits banks and credit unions from taking marijuana money”.  Because of this dispensaries are forced to deal in cash only, thereby making them high-profile targets for criminals.

District Attorney for Denver, Mitch Morrissey attests to the particular vulnerability of dispensaries: “You hit a 7-Eleven, you’ll get 20 bucks. You hit a dispensary, you’ll get $300,000 on a good day.”

Until federal law changes, dispensaries must protect themselves in any way they can. Security agents can be an essential part of that solution.

  1. To Prevent Employee Theft

Security experts have identified internal theft to be marijuana dispensaries’ greatest challenge, estimating that “roughly 90% of financial and product loss in the marijuana industry can be chalked up to employee theft.”  That’s because their product is highly coveted and easy-to-pocket. Employees face a significant temptation to steal, and may face pressures from friends, family and even dealers on the black market. In addition, because producers, growers and trimmers are constantly in and out of the business, the risk of shrinkage increases.

According to investigative and security consultant John Hooper, security professionals are crucial in helping dispensaries “understand the difference between innocent contact/inquiries and something that needs to be addressed and/or monitored.”

Video surveillance are limited in their capacities. As Marijuana security professional Dan Williams observes,“[a] lot of people, they know that the cameras are there, but they don’t necessarily think anyone watches them.”

Security officers function as visual reminders to employees that they are being actively monitored, thereby minimizing the appeal of theft. Officers can also help monitor internal activity and flag suspicious employee behavior, if need be.

  1. To Establish Your Business’ Credibility

As it now stands, dispensaries face an uphill battle in proving their legitimacy.

In order to receive licensure, a dispensary must navigate a web of regulations and standards. Indeed, dispensaries face higher security standards than other businesses. Marijuana security professional Dan Williams says,

“Due to the regulation there’s a high amount of standards and codes that have

to be met. Everything from placement of certain types of cameras, to different types of DVRs that have to be used, to recording times, to types of wire.”

In addition to meeting tough safety standards, dispensaries must also establish their legitimacy within their communities. Neighboring businesses and local law enforcement are likely to regard a dispensary with suspicion for its potential to attract criminal activity. Professional security guards can step in to serve as liaisons between the dispensary and the surrounding community.

“[I]f the local PD knows you employ professionals and has personal knowledge of this they are more likely to extend professional courtesy and treat your business with respect instead of disdain.”

Want to learn how we can help protect your dispensary against criminal threats? Click here.

SMART Security Pros is a provider of armed security services utilizing only active/retired/prior law enforcement officers as well as Remote Guard Video Surveillance services.  Shawn Scarlata is the Founder/CEO and the author of this post.

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