The cannabis industry is booming. The marijuana market is drawing all sorts of individuals to begin cultivation and farming projects. Growers are now more numerous than ever. Cannabis theft is a serious concern for some cannabis farmers.
Farmers are already under strict regulations, but there aren’t many regulatory measures relating to security yet. Farms are full of valuable goods. From the cannabis plants to growing equipment, it all comes with a heavy price tag.
If you’re considering starting a cannabis farm or grow operation, you should consider the following security measures. Fortunately, there is a lot of technology that can help us protect your product.
Cultivation of marijuana is also largely a cash-based business. This makes it especially attractive to thieves and criminals. Marijuana is still a growing industry. Many farmers still don’t take the necessary protective measures to safeguard their product.
There are numerous ways to combat and prevent cannabis theft. You can definitely keep your cultivation safe from thieves. What’s really important is picking out a security system that’s equally adept at displaying compliance within your business as well as theft prevention. You want to be monitoring yourself as well as areas of concern.
For example, you’re required to have your camera system on at almost all times in the state of Oregon. If your cameras are off for more than thirty minutes, you must contact the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
You always have to stay on top of your monitoring system. State regulations might get as detailed as to the required video resolution. Meeting these requirements is paramount for security purposes.
You also want to make sure the security installation company is already familiar with your state’s regulatory measures. Also, be sure to check if there are any local regulatory rules. It may change city by city. You wouldn’t want to pay for a system that doesn’t meet the legal requirements for compliance and security.
It’s also a good idea to go beyond the minimal requirements for security compliance. Some states require all day surveillance. You’ll want to hire a company with the right licensing and work history to monitor your camera system. They should be trained in protective intelligence.
Picking the Right Security Contractor
A security company with a history of safeguarding cannabis industry clients is also important. If they display some familiarity with preventing cannabis theft, then they’re probably a safe bet.
They should be asking you questions about where you’ll be storing certain items and products. If they don’t, that’s not a good sign. You want to ensure they install cameras that offer wide views and no obstruction.
A good security company should also give you options. Don’t let them only offer you the costliest option. You don’t want to overpay when you may not need such sophisticated gear.
Build a Security Foundation
Additionally, you’ll want to install a security system that leaves room for expansion. You may alter the size of your facility. Regulatory restrictions may change as well. The laws regarding the cannabis industry seem to change every year as the market expands.
Ideally, you should create a security plan if you’re a grower.
Are there any potential points of entry for your facility? Is it easy for thieves to do a “smash and grab”? You’ll also want to take notice of the vehicle traffic in the area. There are also certain vulnerabilities for outdoor facilities.
Drones can be used to spy on your security system. If you notice any drone activity nearby, immediately notify the local police. You can even purchase equipment designed to take down drones.
Tracking and Monitoring
You should also ensure you have proper tracking equipment to monitor anyone that enters and leaves your farm grounds. This may prove difficult for particularly large grow operations, but it is essential for your farm’s security.
Your security system should have the ability to do the following.
Protect What’s Valuable
The dry product is worth more on the black market than your plants. Also, ensure you have proper monitoring and security in place wherever you hold cash or your dry product.
You’ll want to keep your product in heavy safes. This will make it more difficult for thieves to transport the cannabis out of your farm. Focus security on your dry storage rather than your plants. The dry flower is by far a more valuable good for thieves. It is much easier to unload and sell on the black market. Extra locks don’t hurt either.
Internal threats are by far the more serious risk when it comes to your cannabis farm. Even though most security is focused on preventing people from breaking in, it is your employees that are more of a threat to commit theft.
You will also want to have restrictive measures in place for valuable entrance points. You don’t want to have your employees granted easy access to areas they don’t work in. Individual passcodes should be kept private. If you establish a clear set of regulatory principles for your employees, it can greatly minimize the risk of employee theft.
Making your employees aware that they’re being monitored actually works in your favour. Anywhere where employees work with either cash or dry storage, you should definitely have security cameras in place. Regularly scheduled accounting checks also are useful. You should only trust specific employees with handling and counting your business’s revenue.
Additionally, training your employees to keep watch for theft can also help. They also should be trained for the worst-case scenario. You want everyone to be prepared for any scenario.
Publicize Your Security
You want people to know about your security system. Having your cameras visible will serve as a deterrent to theft. Let as many people know as possible about it. Even have public notices about your security system on your company’s website and inside your retail stores. It’s better to publicize your facility than to hide it. Disguising your facility actually makes it easier for thieves to rob.
Hiring 24-hour guards can go a long way toward preventing theft. It’s a public presence that has known to be reliable in prevention. You should just take into consideration whether you want armed guards. A potential shootout can be damaging to your business and the local community.
Cyber theft may also be a concern. Many cultivation businesses also serve as e-commerce retailers. It’s recommended to have a strong network security system in place can prevent fraud and malware attacks.
These are just some recommendations to improve the security of your marijuana farm. The cannabis industry is exciting, but you have to do your due diligence as it is a new industry. There are not enough regulatory measures in place yet to effectively combat theft. You will need to go beyond the minimum.
Get engaged in the community as well. It never hurts to contact local security contractors with a strong track record of safeguarding grow operations to figure out the best way to keep your business safe. You can also check our article, “Cannabis Dispensary Security Tips In Canada” for additional information on how to strengthen your cannabis business’ safety.