Security Matters: The Top 4 Ways to Protect Your Dispensary & Customers

With the precious nature of cannabis goods, and the need to protect the business you’ve worked so hard for – security should be a top priority for any dispensary or recreational storefront. Not to mention, many state licensing programs have specific security regulations. 

Meaning…any misstep can also offset issues with compliance, or come with hefty fines. 

So, what are security best practices you can implement to secure your dispensary and customers? We’ve compiled the top four ways the best cannabis retailers are leveling up their marijuana security game…so you can, too. 

Security Tip #1 – Be Mindful of Employee Theft 

One of the first things to know when it comes to cannabis security is that  insider threats are more common than you may think. In fact, 90% of losses reported by dispensaries occur at the hands of their employees. Luckily, there are a few precautionary measures you can take to avoid becoming a part of this statistic.

The first is to always ensure you’re conducting criminal background checks on those you hire. Do your due diligence with contacting references, and former employers, too. Once your employees are a part of the team – creating an honest culture, and a desirable environment within which to work – will also help nurture trust from those with access to the goods.  

Lastly, ensure you’re doing frequent checks on inventory and reconciling supply with actual transactions. Some dispensaries perform daily inventory checks, while others do so at the end of each shift. This helps narrow down sets of employees, if the loss occurs from the inside.

Security Tip #2 – Limit Your Stashes

Since the industry almost exclusively accepts cash only, protecting large amounts of it is even more important. Marijuana security experts recommend limiting your stashes, on the product and cash side. Make sure all registers hold a minimal amount for making change, and don’t keep too much supply on the shelves either. 

Limiting the amount of cash and product that’s readily accessible can lessen your chances of being a target. So, keep only the limited amounts that are necessary for daily operations on site or on hand. Many dispensary security plans dictate storing cash and excess supply offsite or protected in well-secured vaults behind the scenes.

Security Tip #3 – Online Security 

As debit and credit card transactions in dispensaries become more legally acceptable, protecting your database from online threats is just as important. The industry saw this first-hand in 2017 with the hacking of MJ Freeway’s POS database in Colorado. Because many dispensaries are also keeping sensitive medical information on-hand for licensing and verification purposes – upping your cyber security is a best practice for the safety and assurance of the customers you hope to keep. 

More so than protecting the information you store online, you’ll also want to ensure your transaction systems are protected from crashing, too. Crashes in any system can cause unnecessary downtime, keeping you from much needed sales and incoming cash flow. 

Security Tip #4 – Don’t Cut Costs on Cameras

Almost every state issues security camera requirements, but don’t just stick to the bare minimum that they advise. While you may not want to swallow the up-front cost of high-tech security and monitoring systems – you’ll be happy you did if anything is ever to go awry. Another piece of advice from cannabis security experts is to keep your cameras visible. You’ll cut down on potential problems if threats are aware that the lens is rolling. 

Surveillance at entry and exit points is obvious, but cameras should also be installed in other pivotal areas of your business. Like near storage areas, transaction points, and where your customers park to ensure their safety, too. Once the cameras are installed, be sure to frequently monitor that they’re working properly and don’t shy away from the bells and whistles of marijuana security systems. Motion detector alarms are an extra blanket of security to act fast if ever necessary. 

Stay Secure to Stay Protected 

Cannabis business owners excel at running their dispensaries efficiently. But most aren’t considered security experts. Just like you wouldn’t trust just anyone to manage your operations – don’t try to take on cannabis security by yourself. 

Staying secured to stay protected is key for the cash nature of the cannabis industry. Protect your assets and, quite frankly, your own behind, by keeping up with the highest levels of dispensary security. Luckily, Coyle can help – our experts have the knowledge and experience to ensure your cannabis business runs smoothly, and securely. Don’t wait until it’s too late…contact the professionals today.

© 2021 Coyle Hospitality Group. Reproduction of any material without written authorization is strictly prohibited.

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