Cannabis Grow Security

Overview

Due to the stringent regulations that are placed on the cannabis industry, it is vital to have a cannabis grow security plan and implementation that is not only reliable but also complies with the relevant regulations. When it comes to the issue of cannabis business security, marijuana grow facilities are frequently overlooked. This may be due to the few cash transactions that take place or the low foot traffic that is involved. 

Like dispensaries, grow businesses have valuable assets that are exposed to a higher level of risk when compared to other types of products. Due to the product’s high market value, popularity, stringent compliance monitoring, and constantly shifting regulatory environment, grow facilities are at high risk. Loss or damage to a product may result in the termination of the company’s supply chain relationships, the suspension or revocation of a license, or even legal repercussions. That’s why security at grow facilities is so important.

Grow cannabis is a sensitive process, and grow rooms are subject to stringent regulations for both security and compliance with regulatory demands. Every grow facility requires a security system that is specifically designed to fit the needs of its business. The right cannabis security measures can assist businesses in ensuring compliance as well as their security and safety in the industry. Theft is deterred through effective cannabis security, reducing the amount of inventory lost to shrinkage and diversion.

Types of Security Threats

Understanding the various challenges in the cannabis industry is critical. It aids businesses in developing efficient security measures. Consequently, the following are the most prevalent security risks and dangers impacting grow operations.

Product Damage & Loss

Cannabis security faces several challenges, the most significant of which include product theft and damage. In addition, there are numerous access points across the supply chain, which only raises the potential risk of tampering. Tampering with a product can have several adverse effects on a marijuana company, including failure to comply with regulations, financial loss, risks to customers’ health, and damage to the company’s brand.

Robberies

The cannabis industry is no exception to the pervasive threat posed by theft and robbery. These facilities are also more vulnerable to aggressive robberies.

Cyber-attacks

As with any other industry in today’s technology-driven world, the cannabis industry is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hackers can quickly get their hands on valuable data, personal client information, operational systems, and even security video systems in grow locations.

Employee Theft

Up to 90% of thefts that occur at marijuana businesses can be linked to either former or current staff. When you think about it, this shouldn’t come as much of a shock. Employees have access to information regarding all aspects of the company’s operations and a variety of resources including merchandise, lock codes, and cash registers. When an organization does not have sufficient knowledge about the history of an employee, the possibility of that person engaging in theft becomes even greater.

Examples of cultivation security breaches

Thefts targeting marijuana businesses, particularly cultivation facilities, are becoming more blatant and brazenly aggressive as time goes on. The following are some instances of the various ways in which a cannabis business might come under attack. 

Crime rings took $100,000 worth of marijuana from Oklahoma grow operations

Intruders stole $59,000 worth of pot from a grow in Gorham

Seattle Green Buds loses more than $120,000 in a break-in on Christmas Eve

Theft of $250,000 Worth of Marijuana from Washington Grower

Robbery at gunpoint committed against a man from Southeast Michigan

Robbers storm a cannabis farm in Half Moon Bay, California

Burglars stole $200,000 worth of weed from a cannabis grower in Seattle

Here are some further examples of how other cannabis-related businesses may suffer.

These hits may occasionally be in the six-figure range.

Key elements in securing a grow facility

Grow Facility Security Compliance

State cannabis security regulations do exist and they are rather comprehensive as legalization has been adopted mainly at the state level. To further complicate matters, they also differ from one state to the next. The planning and installation of cannabis security systems are subject to stringent rules that are always being updated.

The success of any cannabis company hinges on having a secure facility. Failure to comply with regulations can lead to a host of problems, including friction with the regulatory body and the possibility of hefty fines that could put a company out of business.

Grow Facility Site Assessment

The security needs of marijuana grow facilities are diverse and often require a tailor-made approach. Part of this process includes pinpointing potential security holes at a certain location. How high is the neighborhood’s crime rate? Where are the entrances, adjacent highways, and police stations located? How should the area be lit and what kind of surveillance is required?

Grow Facility Security Plan

Having a professional security plan can make or break your chances of getting awarded a license when competition is high, and resources are scarce. There are several cases where just a small number of licenses are available despite many businesses applying for those licenses. Over the next few years, we anticipate this will be the case in multiple situations.

Obtaining a cannabis business license and preventing criminal activity requires a well-thought-out security strategy for the grow site. If your company is equipped with the appropriate security plan, including floor plans, physical security and prevention, data security, and employee training, it will be easier to deter potential attackers and will be less likely to become a target. 

Grow Facility Security Equipment

You will require several different security products for your cannabis grow facility. Here are some examples:

Alarm Systems – A cannabis security alarm system is a system that is used to alert people in case of any intrusion or disaster. Motion detectors, pressure plates, glass break sensors, and alarm control panels are the various components that make up alarm systems for cannabis businesses.

Access Control Systems – Access control is a way to manage who has access to your property and how they get in. There are many different types of access control systems, but they all have the same goal: to control who enters and leaves your premises. The types of access control systems include Local Host Access Control, Access Control Methods, Role-Based Access Control, Discretionary Access Control, and Mandatory Access Control.

Video Surveillance – By using video surveillance, cannabis businesses can monitor activity on their premises, which may deter criminals from committing crimes at all. Additionally, if theft does occur, footage from the camera may help identify suspects and prove their guilt in court.

Video Storage – Cannabis security video storage is the process of storing a recorded security video file on-site or remotely. It can be accomplished by using dedicated file storage or by using cloud storage services. 

Marijuana Vaults & Safes – Security vaults and safes are storage units with locking mechanisms that keep unauthorized parties from accessing your valuables, such as cash and cannabis products.

Cabinet SecurityCannabis cabinet security solutions can help protect your cannabis business from theft by providing physical barriers between your inventory and potential threats. They also provide a way to control access to your products and protect against unauthorized tampering.

Security Locks – These locks are used to secure doorways, storage spaces, and cash registers. They are made of high-quality materials that provide high strength and durability. They come in various sizes and styles, so you can find something that fits your needs perfectly.

Grow Facility Physical Security Guards 

There are usually several guards on duty at every grow facility. Their job is to keep tabs on who enters and leaves the facility. This is an essential component in the process of keeping a grow operation in compliance. Because of the state restrictions in the cannabis sector, security guards play a vital role in the business.

If a grow facility has visitors who do not have identification badges or who are not allowed to be there, then the facility may be labeled non-compliant. A facility that is found to violate the regulations runs the risk of having its grow license revoked. It is the responsibility of the security guard to guarantee that certain protocols are followed within their facility.

Grow Facility Cybersecurity 

Cannabis has become an appealing target for cybercriminals due to the widespread exposure it receives in the media, the vast sums of money it generates (in the billions of dollars), and a range of one-of-a-kind circumstances and vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity is an issue that all companies must consider. In fact, the state of New Jersey requires that all cannabis businesses must include cybersecurity measures in their security plans.

Since cannabis businesses are vulnerable to a variety of cyberattacks, it is prudent to implement security precautions to reduce the likelihood of unfortunate outcomes. There is a broad range of options available to meet the specific requirements of your company. This can involve things like security risk assessments, system hardening, security configuration, software and hardware security updates, and an incident response strategy.

Workplace Violence Training

Cannabis workplace violence training is an educational program designed to teach employees how to recognize and respond to situations involving potential workplace violence. The training covers topics such as identifying warning signs of potential violence, controlling emotions and reactions during stressful situations, and de-escalating potentially violent situations. It also teaches employees what they can do if they witness or experience workplace violence at their cannabis business.

Professional Cannabis Security Services

Are the services of a knowledgeable cannabis security professional required? Depending on the size of the grow operations, hiring professionals may be recommended. This lessens the chance of security systems being placed incorrectly and a mechanical system failing to safeguard the property adequately.

Conclusion

Going above and beyond what is required by state legislation is necessary to safeguard your company against theft, and the greatest threat you face may take you by surprise.

Cannaspire’s team consists of security consultants and professionals with knowledge in cannabis grow security that can assist with your application, keep you compliant, and make your organization much less likely to be targeted by criminals. Set up a consultation or send a message to our chat client and let’s discuss more information today.

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