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Security Risks Facing the Legal and Medical Marijuana Dispensary Industry

Whether or not you agree with it, the legalization of marijuana in America is starting to gather steam. Medical marijuana has been legal for some time in 23 states and recent legislation has seen its complete legalization in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Washington D.C., and Alaska with nearly another dozen more states de-criminalizing the possession of the drug. Marijuana dispensaries have opened up across these regions and cater to customers for both recreational and medical purposes.

Risks Facing Marijuana Dispensary Owners

Both recreational and medical marijuana shops are prime targets for break-ins and burglaries since the stolen product can fetch tens of thousands of dollars when sold on the street. With pot still being considered illegal under Federal Law, many banks and financial institutions refuse to accept money earned from the sale of the drug despite its legality in their state. This forces many shop owners to operate on a cash only basis and keep large amounts of money on hand for their day-to-day operation, which presents a number of problems in it of itself.

With your business running solely on cash, business owners must keep flawless financial records, be constantly vigilant of employee theft, and have multiple strong boxes and vaults to hold the currency to not have their money, quite literally, walk out the front door. The shops are more vulnerable to retail crimes like inventory shrink, employee theft, and burglary because of both the nature of their business and from being forced to operate on hard currency.

Along with external physical threats to the store, shop owners must be concerned with temperature and lighting throughout their inventory storerooms, growing rooms, and sales floor as variances can ruin an entire crop or shelf of product costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Securing Your Marijuana Dispensary

Securing a marijuana dispensary isn’t as simple as other retail stores since they present a number of unique, and vital, challenges. The most effective security solution for the typical store includes a high definition video surveillance system with door access control integration for the front retail operation and cash vaults, product storerooms, and the entrances and exits around the building.

Above all else, your security solution should keep non-employees out of sensitive areas and prevent criminals from being able to enter your building. Any lapse in the integrity of a store’s security or climate control can irrevocably ruin a business by costing the owner hundreds of thousands of dollars. This catastrophic potential for loss makes it absolutely vital to invest in a multi-layered security solution for your stores.

Brian Merritt

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