4 min read

A Quick Guide to Dispensary Security

June 22, 2020

The global cannabis industry is projected to reach $73.6 billion by 2027 according to a recent study. Federal banking regulations prohibit banks from accepting cannabis money– which means cannabis businesses deal in physical cash. Managing and protecting cash is just one aspect of keeping your cannabis retail storefront, inventory, and employees safe and secure. Loss prevention, ID verification to prevent underage sales, and employee background checks are also part of a marijuana dispensary’s security plan. Dispensary security should be the top priority for dispensaries. Whether you are starting a new dispensary or have had one for years, it is best practice to continually review your security plan to protect your business and employees. Investing in all aspects of security and preventing loss is an investment into your business.

State and Local Regulations

State and local law dictates dispensary security and is a major component of compliance. As with other cannabis regulations, many of the same basic rules apply with minor differences in some states or municipalities. Failure to follow local and state regulations related to dispensary security can and will result in loss of license and in some cases of severe negligence, criminal charges. First and foremost, make sure you are familiar with all the laws and regulations in your area.

Dispensary Security Services

Navigating the regulatory framework for dispensary security can be confusing and challenging. Luckily, there are security services for hire that specialize in marijuana dispensary security if you need help. We compiled a list of the Top 5 Cannabis Security Services for Marijuana Dispensaries. It is always best to consult professionals when setting up the proper security system.

Control of Access

Every state has measures to control access to dispensaries. Every person, whether a patient, customer, employee, vendor, or contractor, must be tracked when entering the dispensary. ID Verification is a must in every state, as the penalties for selling cannabis to someone underage or without a valid ID are severe. Most states require inventory to be video taped from the time it enters the store to the time it is sold. Granting access to certain employees to other areas of the business, such as cash registers, vaults, and inventory, is also a very important consideration. 

Alarms & Surveillance Cameras

Intrusion alarms and surveillance cameras are another requirement for dispensary security. Smart alarms will alert the proper employees and authorities in the attempt of a break-in or vault intrusion. Some laws require surveillance systems and cameras to record at a minimum resolution and with sound. Additionally, cameras should cover every corner of the store and leave no blind spots. Not every state requires remote surveillance, but it is very important to consider– especially for after business hours security.

Retail Layout & Loss Prevention

The layout of a dispensary is a major component of loss prevention. Keeping products strategically placed behind locked glass cases will give your budtenders peace of mind to help customers without having to keep an eye on other customers. Streamlining traffic flow prevents theft and gives the customers and patients a more pleasant shopping experience. Some dispensaries with large showrooms hire additional security guards for the retail floor. 

Licensed Guards and Cash Transportation

Having licensed security guards is another major component of cannabis compliance. As with other industries such as banking, some armed security companies and money transporters will not protect cannabis dispensaries. It is best to hire a cannabis-specific security company, some of which have turned to employ veterans, to protect and transport your money. 

Internal Threats

Threats to the security of your dispensary can also come from within. Internal threats are something most dispensary owners hate to think about, but it does happen. Creating a positive culture is one of the best ways to prevent employee theft. Employee performance perks and bonuses, hiring full-time employees, and even profit sharing can go a long way in fostering loyalty. IndicaOnline features the ability to assign staff roles and permissions along with time clock management. 

Inventory Tracking

Find a point-of-sale system and software that updates your inventory in real time and can track sales. Count cash and inventory daily, if not multiple times a day. Tracking inventory will help mitigate internal loss and is also a requirement for compliance. With IndicaOnline, you are able to manage your store and run reports remotely. 

Secure Cloud 

Securing records and information is an often overlooked aspect of dispensary security. For users of IndicaOnline, information is stored in maximum-security data centers in multiple locations, protected against unauthorized retrieval with 256-bit SSL file encryption, and protected by armed security personnel. Our 100% secure cloud-based software is HIPAA certified, meeting and exceeding security standards for data transmission and storage. 

Looking Ahead

Remember to always stay up to date on your local and state regulations. With continued advocacy, we will see a federal cannabis banking bill and cannabis legalization which will greatly end the burden of physical cash in the future.