Why Cannabis is Still a Criminal Target
December 10, 2018
As cannabis legalization continues to gain momentum across the US and internationally, the lack of consistency in state regulatory frameworks creates an opportunity for crime quite unlike any other industry in the world. There are many reasons why cannabis is still considered a high-profile crime target, which is why most states require significant security compliance requirements to deter criminals and resolve incidents quickly and effectively. But security compliance aside, it’s your duty as a business operator to ensure that your investment, your staff, and your business are well protected. Here are the 3 main reasons that marijuana businesses are still considered ideal crime targets, even with cannabis legalization gaining momentum:
Because of the federal Schedule I status, the majority of businesses have an extremely difficult time finding banks that are willing to handle their cash and banking needs. As a result, many dispensaries and business to business transactions are done using cash. That means at any given time a dispensary could have thousands, even millions of dollars in cash on site. Additionally, criminals are aware of the fact that wholesale transactions from business to business involve large amounts of cash and require transport of the cash and bulk product outside of the business’ walls. Many local banks and credit unions are stepping in to help with this glaring need, but for the most part, marijuana businesses and dispensaries find themselves operating a business with piles of cash on site. This unfortunate fact makes the industry and business owners highly vulnerable to robberies and criminal activity.
Black-Market Demand for Cannabis
The black market will always be a looming threat until federal legalization in the US comes through – and even still the threat may still present itself due to rising costs of legitimate cannabis product. To combat a criminal, at times, you may need to think like a criminal. When it comes to the opportunity/cost of legal cannabis, there’s nothing stopping an individual from driving to a recreational cannabis state to stock up on product and deliver it back to illegal states. Black-market demand for high-quality product and a significantly low barrier to entry leaves the cannabis industry vulnerable to robberies.
Underestimation of Security Practices
Because the marijuana industry is new, there’s are fewer established best practices when it comes to dispensary and business security. Marijuana businesses will typically meet the security requirements for compliance purposes, but beyond that, added security is considered a luxury that only major businesses and dispensary chains can afford. Not everyone in cannabis takes security as seriously as they should and it leaves them vulnerable to criminal activity. Criminals often view dispensaries as easy targets to break into, but it’s pretty simple to prove them wrong with a strong dispensary security plan.
Have questions about cannabis business security or want to learn more about pricing? Contact us here! Formerly Security Grade Protective Services, Helix Cannabis Security provides end-to-end security services for licensed cannabis businesses or traditional industries. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for security best practices, tips, and company updates.