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Top 5 Dispensary Security Tips: How to Protect Your Dispensary

Searching for some dispensary security tips to protect your marijuana dispensary? With federal banking restrictions leading to severe underbanking in the cannabis industry, many dispensaries maintain large volumes of cash on-site. In fact, most cannabis businesses are forced to pay federal taxes in cash – hiring security vans and guards for the transit.

It’s a strange and nerve-wracking situation for dispensary owners. But such cash reserves also make the dispensaries themselves key targets for criminals. In Los Angeles, for example, there were 14 reported crimes at dispensaries in February 2022. Meanwhile, in Tacoma, Washington, a worker was killed after an attempted robbery turned violent.

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To protect your workers and your earnings, we’ve compiled the top dispensary security tips that’ll keep your business safe. But, it’s not just robberies to worry about; our dispensary security tips cover cybertheft, shoplifting, and more

Top 5 Dispensary Security Tips

1. Know your target

Who is the greatest risk to your business? Burglars? Shoplifters? Cybercriminals? According to industry experts, the biggest loss of money for cannabis dispensaries is employee stealing; it’s responsible for 90% of financial and product loss.

Here are the four security threats to consider:

2. What is needed?

Not every dispensary needs to be Fort Knox. Your security needs will depend on your location and state rules. In certain states, you’re required to keep a registered security guard on the premises to ensure regulatory compliance.

Furthermore, insurance policies will detail the level of security expected as part of the agreement. Should you fail to meet this threshold, you’ll struggle to receive a payout and could risk losing your license altogether.

All dispensaries are different, however. For a busy dispensary in downtown LA, security will need to be substantially tougher than in a suburb of Denver.

Most of all, it’s about access control. Would-be thieves cannot steal your product or money if they cannot access them. Using guards, locked doors, and other basic security measures will handle your security’s heavy lifting.

Remember – prevention is better than the cure.

3. Train your employees

It’s a common dispensary security tip that goes ignored. Dispensaries thoroughly train their employees about the detailed profile of terpenes but often neglect security. Employees should be trained to spot and deal with shoplifters, as well as the relevant policy and procedure during an attempted robbery.

Moreover, you’ll want to conduct a thorough background check before hiring any budtenders or security guards (and put cameras in stockrooms or cash-handling areas).

The most common times for a robbery to occur is during a moment of weakness – for example, opening and closing times, curbside pickups, deliveries, and more. Creating procedures and drilling your staff on these scenarios will reduce the risk of injury or theft. After all, property is replaceable; people aren’t.

Such procedures aren’t learnt overnight. It’s about consistent and routine practice; it involves mitigating the risks and avoiding sloppy behavior.

Think about the primary risk factors in your store and work with your staff to reduce your vulnerability.

4. Think cyber security

Cyber security is a growing threat worldwide. It’s easy to neglect what you can’t see. However, being hacked and having all your client’s personal and financial information stolen isn’t just a momentary cost; it’ll destroy your business’s reputation.

It’s something no dispensary can afford.

You’ll need to conduct regular cyber checks to ensure your digital security systems are iron-clad. After all, ransomware can cost businesses thousands or more to remove.

Digital infrastructure is often essential to a dispensary’s day-to-day running. It stores client information, manages your inventory, functions as a point-of-sale system, and more. Without it, your business grinds to a halt.

Introduce cyber controls and multiple safeguards like multi-factor authentication to reduce the risk of hackers breaking through a single password lock. Also, creating protocols regarding emails of unknown origin is essential – it’s something you’ll want to train staff about too.

Ultimately, good cyber security is about sticking to your authentication and protocols, even when it feels inconvenient. It only takes one slip up for the hackers to gain access.

5. Master the basics

The final dispensary security tip is also the most obvious. Yet, many dispensaries ignore security basics in favor of high-tech security systems. Such systems can enhance your level of protection. But nailing down the basics will do more with less.

The basics include:

In addition, security cameras and alarm systems will also deter criminals. But, if you’re neglecting the basics, you’re reducing the effectiveness of these expensive systems. Most of all, it’s about being proactive. Don’t wait for a robbery to spark you into action; reduce your risks now.

Follow these dispensary security tips for a safer work environment

No security system or tip is 100% bulletproof. Mistakes happen, and thieves can plan around such systems. But, by increasing the complexity and difficulty of robbing your business, you can dissuade thieves, catch shoplifters, and reduce your risk of employee theft.

It all means a safer and more prosperous business.

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