Before recreational cannabis was legalized, cannabis dispensaries used to require consumers to show their cannabis cards before they were served. The benefit of doing this is that it created some kind of buffer that regulated who could access the dispensary. However, with the legalization of cannabis, everyone who is of age can have access to a cannabis dispensary and purchase the product.
This has been good news for retailers since there are now enjoying better cash flow. However, an increase in cash holdings poses a legitimate security threat. Cannabis businesses now face the risk of getting attacked for their loot as well as their money.
As such, how much security does your dispensary need? The following are tips to help secure your cannabis business.
1. Incorporate Video Surveillance
Many jurisdictions require that cannabis dispensaries have video surveillance equipment installed in the premises. Nonetheless, in an effort to cut on costs, a retailer may be tempted to go for the cheapest system they can get, and that is not right.
A high-quality video surveillance system is absolutely critical. It not only allows you to comply with the law but also serves as a deterrent for potential thieves. These kinds of systems also allow for remote monitoring, which allows you to monitor your business even when you are not around.
2. Well-Covered Points of Entry
Keeping all entry and exit points secured is necessary for proactive theft detection and prevention. As such, you should consider investing in weapon detection systems and well-trained guards.
Maintaining security is not an easy task because you also do not want to intimidate your customers. This is why you should look for security personnel who understand and embrace the customer experience you are trying to foster in your store.
Well-trained security guards help the customers feel welcome while maintaining a zero-tolerance stance on any activities that might pose a threat to the store and its consumers.
3. ID Checks
If you do not have security staff, then it is important that you have your employees check for IDs. The reasons for this is to first ensure that they are indeed 21 or older, while the second is to proactively deter theft. As such, it is recommended that you keep their ID until they leave the dispensary.
As they enter the store, an employee who’s trained on how to check IDs should first greet them then request for their documentation to verify its validity. The employee should then either keep it in a secure location or hand it to the budtender who will be taking care of the customer up until they leave.
This practice not only enhances customer service but will also deter unscrupulous individuals from trying any illegal activities.
4. Professional Transportation
If you are utilizing regular vehicles and drivers to transport your cannabis as well as cash, you are putting your business at risk.
It is extremely important not to be naïve and understand that there are people out there looking to take advantage of budding businesses. And when they notice a potential gap in your security, they will capitalize on it.
This is why you need to ensure that you invest in proper and secure transportation for your cash and cannabis so that your business’s operations do not become compromised. Today, there are security companies who are tailoring their services to suit cannabis dispensaries’ security needs.
Related article: Top 5 Reasons You Should Choose Armed Over Unarmed Transportation
5. Perform a Cyber Security Check
With cyber-attacks on the rise, every business with an online presence needs to take precautionary steps to avoid such events. For cannabis businesses, this means ensuring that their servers are secure in addition to protecting the personal and financial information of their customers.
Hackers are constantly looking for businesses with compromised security so they can infiltrate them. A single attack can cost you upwards in the thousands of dollars. And because cannabis businesses are still in their infancy, cyber-attackers are counting on your dispensary not having their digital information not properly secured.
To prevent potential threats, look into securing your digital space.
6. Prevent Employee Theft
Research revealed that up to 90 percent of losses reported by cannabis businesses were due to theft from employees. You cannot afford such losses.
And with recreational use on the rise, it implies more product, which in turn, means more chances of having discrepancies in your checks and balances.
This is why you must take proactive steps to prevent employee theft. Consider utilizing the following tips:
Have a thorough hiring process that not only checks the candidate’s skills but also their background
Have a clear system on how the product and cash are handled by the employees
Have a limit on the number of discounts your employees can give to their families or friends
Invest in a good point-of-sale system as well as an inventory management software to keep track of your sales and inventory
7. Invest in Employee Security Literacy
While there’s a likelihood of your staff might shortchange you, a thorough hiring process will ensure you get good employees. However, are they security savvy? This is why it is important to invest in employee development.
This will involve having them trained in safety procedures so they can learn how to detect and respond to threats to help ensure the safety of the business and its occupants. Cannabis security companies are well-versed in this kind of training. Consider talking to such a company so they can make your staff security-savvy.
8. Have Managed Access Control
For extra security, consider implementing a managed access control system which allows you to protect the most valuable rooms in the establishment.
Through this system, you will be able to control the level of access each staff member has to the various rooms in the dispensary. When foot traffic to these rooms is limited, your business becomes less susceptible to internal as well as external theft.
A managed access control system is equipped with reporting capabilities that allow you to know which person accessed what room and at what time. This means that if a crime is committed, you will know who was in that room at that time.
The legalization of cannabis has brought us a world full of limitless business opportunities. Moreover, consumers are adopting it at an astounding rate.
Unfortunately, there will always be people looking to swindle you out of your products or hard-earned money. To prevent theft while ensuring the well-being of anyone who comes into your establishment, it is vital that practice the best security routines.
The above tips should help you in that regard. However, to be able to implement them properly, you need a good consultant backing you up.
Northern Force Security is Canada’s premier cannabis security company. Founded by professionals with military training and anti-terrorism experience, we are dedicated to providing top-notch security to companies selling and growing cannabis.
If you are looking to improve your cannabis security business, talk to us today and we will customize a solution for you.