The nature of your product and the very real likelihood that your shop operates on a largely cash basis means that security is paramount for your business.
That much is obvious and not lost on anyone who has been involved in the legalized cannabis industry for any length of time. However, knowing that essential cannabis security is a basic requirement for your place of business and having it are not the same thing.
Cannabis Industry Under Siege
Oftentimes, cannabis businesses are an easy target for theft. Despite having cameras, alarms, and up-to-date security procedures to protect your business, bad things happen. And it seems that they happen more frequently at cannabis businesses than others.
Why is that? According to one source,
“Due to banking regulations, cannabis businesses are forced to operate in cash. By some estimates, cannabis companies handle $250,000 to $350,000 cash in monthly sales. That amount of money plus a high-value product makes every cannabis business an easy target for theft.”
And despite the plethora of security measures many cannabis shops and outlets take, theft and burglary are still particularly high-risk threats.
According to a written statement at a recent Senate hearing,
“A 2015 analysis by the Wharton School of Business Public Policy Initiative found that, in the absence of being banked, one in every two cannabis dispensaries were robbed or burglarized—with the average thief walking away with anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 in a single theft.”
However, it may not be as bad as that, although it’s still not good. The problem is a lack of reliable and comprehensive data. As a result, most cannabis dispensary crime statistics are localized and often mostly anecdotal.
As a separate statement noted in the same hearing,
“In Denver, [the roughly 500] cannabis businesses make up less than 1% of all local businesses but have accounted for 10% of all reported business burglaries from 2012-2016. On average, more than 100 burglaries occur at cannabis businesses each year according to the Denver Police Department, and burglaries and theft comprise almost 80% of Denver’s cannabis industry-related crime.”
Cannabis Security Must be Proactive and Proprietary
What many cannabis shop owners have come to realize is that the constant threat is real enough to warrant substantial security measures.
And the efforts – or lack of effort – of law enforcement agencies have only served to exacerbate a growing problem. Regardless of what percentage of shops actually do get robbed, the damage for any one of them is immense. And a lack of police protection is an open invitation to thieves.
A Forbes article from 2020 noted that,
“Over the weekend of May 29 to June 1, thieves burglarized cannabis dispensaries, distribution centers, and cultivation in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and other cities, relieving legal commercial cannabis operations of cash and product.
In several documented instances, break-in crews paid repeated visits to dispensaries, breaking in night after night. In nearly every instance, police—ostensibly busy squaring off against protesters, and whose budgets directly benefit from cannabis legalization—were powerless to stop or even discourage the robberies.”
The lack of universal legalization of cannabis sales, use, and possession across the United States seems to lead to one important factor in cannabis thefts.
It appears that residents in those states that have not legalized cannabis for any utilization are responsible for a significant share of cannabis dispensary crime. It’s been documented that individuals from so-called cannabis “black market” states often drive to cannabis-legal states, rob dispensaries, then transport the stolen cannabis products back to their home states to sell the products for a profit.
Given the uncertainty of timely or cooperative police protection and the apparent targeting of these businesses, it stands to reason that owners must incorporate their own cannabis security that is both effective and proactive.
But how can that happen?
Smart Cannabis Security 101
Standard and traditional security measures are still needed even with the prospect of a smart security solution.
In other words, there are components of an effective security plan that should include:
- Building access monitoring and control
- On-site security personnel
- Alarm systems
- Inventory control and tracking
- Employee vetting and screening
- Video and electronic monitoring
However, aside from the presence of a security guard – especially an armed guard – most if not all of these components are passive measures. While they are necessary, they can do nothing to actually stop or prevent a determined thief or burglar.
What is needed is a proactive security solution that can allow for engagement and intervention with criminals. In other words, a smart security solution that goes beyond deterrence.
And that is possible with a smart video theft prevention solution.
Essential Cannabis Security Should Include Smart Video Theft Prevention
Blue Eyes’ AI software enables our system to detect potential threats to your property and alert our highly trained Video Surveillance Technicians (VSTs) within seconds. The VSTs then respond in real-time to deter potential thrift, burglary, and other crimes.
Our security system solution uses both artificial intelligence, or AI, and human interaction, to provide a safe, reliable, and proactive security solution that utilizes your existing video cameras. And if you want to upgrade your cameras, or you want more of them, we can assist you in finding the optimum video installation solution.
So, are you ready to upgrade your cannabis distribution or dispensary security system to a smart and proactive security solution?