The Grassroots of Marijuana Security (Part Three)
This blog is the third in a three part series, discussing the connectivity between security and the medical and recreational marijuana industry. In Part One I tackled a holistic security plan for the oversight of commercial cannabis operations. In Part Two, I explained the security strategy to support the construction, implementation, operation, and sustainability of a cannabis cultivation center or dispensary. For Part Three, I am delving into securing the day-to-day business operations of a legalized marijuana enterprise. Specifically, I examine the design and creation of a comprehensive security standard to mitigate risk to employees, products, money, operation, and brand that can and should be addressed directly by incorporating security strategies through an integrated approach in a number of areas.
You Can’t Make an Omelet without Breaking Eggs
After identifying the particular needs and challenges of a commercial cannabis business, the proposed security path is based on my professional experience as an expert in securing private and public properties. I recommend a strategic business model that addresses specific security goals and objectives and avoids disrupting business operations or negatively impacting the aesthetics of the venue. However, there will be some growing (another bad pun!) pains as I craft a strategy and vision built to last. The potential domino effect from this model is a unique security environment that may take some getting used to. The best example is a searching policy to mitigate diversion of product or theft of funds. Employees working in this industry will need to be prepared to have their packages, workspace, vehicles, lockers, and attire inspected when entering and exiting the facility. If employees are uncomfortable with these processes and procedures, then they will probably need to find another line of work.
If You Build It They Will Come
The paramount goal of a successful business model in the cannabis industry is to protect people, product, property, brand, and assets. The business will thrive when people see that protection is an important part of the company’s mission. Employees are more likely to see security as a company priority if management visibly supports security efforts and initiatives. Some of the best ways to demonstrate that support are to include security as one of management’s core values and to promulgate official company policies regarding security. Customers are more likely to frequent your place of business knowing that a great deal of thought and effort has gone into creating a safe and secure environment. Access control standards and practices and the ability to screen and filter all personnel, services, deliveries, and equipment seeking access to the dispensary and its environs are crucial. The design also includes training curriculums, security awareness and education materials, emergency preparedness, fire prevention, and employee assistance programs, among many areas. Additional documents and policies will further protect your investment by focusing on strategies such as social media, open-source intelligence and analysis, technical surveillance, threat assessment, and incident response.
Security Technology Is Like Taking a Drink from a Fire Hydrant
Security technologies evolve at such a breakneck pace that as soon as your systems are installed they seem outdated. The only way to stay ahead of this curve is through the implementation, use, and effectiveness of the latest security systems and technologies, such as digital closed-circuit video surveillance equipment, exterior and perimeter security systems and monitoring, electronic access control systems, automated alerts, and information-sharing software. A well-qualified and experienced systems integrator can be worth their weight in gold because they can bring to your operation best-in-class performance and capabilities regardless of the product company. This independence will keep you away from vendors who push their own equipment without properly evaluating its effectiveness for your situation.
Many Receive Advice, but Few Profit from It
A trusted advisor can provide insight and counsel based on an institutional knowledge of the security industry often attained by sharing information and acting as a liaison with the federal, state, and local law enforcement and regulatory agencies. This model focuses on service to clients by developing strategic security relationships. Acting as a reliable and dependable confidant while offering an objective and independent voice, I not only keep you apprised of emerging threats but also informed of industry trends in countering these risks. In this fast-paced and ever-changing environment, the Lake Forest Group’s market leadership is maintained by a steadfast emphasis on research, analysis, and continuous interaction with subject matter experts who are leaders in their field.