Cannabis legalization is spreading across the U.S. and Canada, making cannabis theft a persistent risk. Not just of cash, but of product from the shelves or storage. Theft threats can come from both inside and outside a company, so it’s important to put protections in place.

The cannabis industry is growing at a rapid pace at every level and so does their risk of theft: farms, distributors, processors, manufacturers, and transporters. Even though legalization is sweeping the country, there are still several states where it remains illicit. This means a business can become a target of theft from both in and out-of-the-area thieves. There have been several reports of cannabis business robberies that crossed state lines.

The risks are clear, and many cannabis facilities are woefully under-prepared. Whether they haven’t implemented proper employee protocols or their security cameras don’t cover vulnerable areas, there can be critical gaps in a cannabis facility’s security.

A good security plan is a tool to help you find the source of theft. What can this look like on a day-to-day level? A new alarm system could be installed on all the doors of a facility, but if the windows are forgotten, there is the perfect entrance for a thief. Or, a farmer may realize that 2 oz. of product has been consistently disappearing every day for the past several months.

Each operation is different and will have different security weak points and strengths, but there are four common areas that are overlooked (especially in a bus facility) that could be strengthened in your security plan today.

Top 4 Security Problems in Cannabis Facilities

  1. Poor camera and alarm coverage. This could mean there are critical gaps in the camera’s perspective, that vulnerable entry points like windows don’t have alarms, or that there is no procedure to electronically access particular facilities.  How to prevent coverage gaps: Set up alarm and camera systems so that all vulnerable points are covered and that keep in mind the facility’s future expansions. Plan to make adjustments to camera placements if the site plan is adjusted.
  2. Failing to properly vet new employees. While it can be tempting to hire a buddy’s friend, there should be protocols in place for screening new hires to ensure they are qualified and responsible.
  3. No employee protocols for preventing employee theft. Especially for large facilities with several employees, procedures can lay out how employees should check in and out of work rooms and shifts. Giving employees scrubs to wear at work and work-only shoes means that they can store their personal belongings and clothing in a separate storage area, helping to reduce theft and improve sanitation.
  4. Failure to meet the security standards of the facility’s insurance. Whether it’s not understanding all of a facility’s coverage or failing to secure cannabis product at the end of the business day, there are basic steps you can take to prevent making this mistake: create an in-house team focused on security compliance, and work with your cannabis insurance broker so that you understand your coverage and what security is expected of your facility to maintain that coverage.