We are in it now and opinions vary wildly as to how deep. The Arcview Group, an industry investment and research company, projects that cannabis will become a $42.7 billion global industry by 2024.
This new industry has created great opportunities for entrepreneurship, local government tax revenue and the improved health of many users. This growth has also led to opportunities for a myriad of human based threats such as burglary, robbery and theft.
In the US, there is a patchwork style regulatory environment where regulations vary from state-to-state as cannabis cultivation, processing and sale remains illegal at the federal level. Finding the correct fit of physical security, electronic security components and security policies that work within the regulations to develop a security "program" is outside the scope and often daunting to money managers and bud tenders.
The foundation of Routine Activities Theory (RAT) looks at the three elements of crime; suitable targets, lack of capable guardianship and motivated and likely offenders. A cannabis facility is suitable as it contains valuable product, grow hardware and cash. Deployment of the capable guardians, such as capable people, technology and hardware that hardens the target is critical to risk mitigation. The third consideration is the internal or external motivated offender. All security managers need to understand that cannabis facilities and products are suitable targets, vulnerable to motivated and likely offenders, subsequently requiring capable guardianship.
Physical barriers, secure areas, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) and other measures of deterrence and delay are fundamental to protecting your facility from human adversaries.
Intrusion detection systems (alarms), video surveillance systems and access control (card access) are all required by even the less stringent state regulations. Depending on the state regulatory agency, other requirements often include duration of video retention, off-site video viewing by regulators, hours of battery back-up (generators do not qualify in many states) and access control data retention and management.
Working with a properly trained and experienced security consultant with theoretical and practical experience not only bolsters credibility during the licensing process, but also creates a security environment and culture at the facility that is efficient and sustainable.
Wynne & Associates continues to lead the cannabis industry in cost effective security solutions leading to to risk mitigation and regulatory compliance. With over 30 years of consulting expertise coupled with our experience in cannabis industry security since 2006, Wynne & Associates has become the standard for professional guidance, systems design and integration, policy development and overall security management.
Clint Wynne, Jr., CPP, CHS, PSNA