California Security Guards in the Legal Cannabis Industry
Are you familiar with California Security Guard requirements for the legal cannabis industry? According to the rules and regulations, all licensed retailers and microbusinesses that sell cannabis or cannabis products to consumers are required to have a licensed security guard on premises at all times. Since most dispensaries and cannabis businesses still operate in cash and are heavily trafficked by consumers, it’s not a surprise that it’s required to have a physical security guard on site to protect the customers, employees, cash, and inventory. That’s why our motto is, “security guards protect people, cameras protect property.” So when your business is closed and the staff has left for the night, you may want to consider remote monitoring to protect your business after hours. While your responsibility for compliance and public safety is to have a security guard on site, how exactly you do that is a little more flexible. Here are some best practices for California security guards for legal cannabis businesses and dispensaries.
Outside the Dispensary – In California, many cannabis businesses will have their security guard remain outside of the building at their post, covering the front door and having visibility of each access point to the business, while also checking customer ID’s to verify age before entering the building. This location provides you with the earliest warning and highest visibility of any potential threats since the security guard is outside and able to see all access points. However, this approach can easily be complicated by something simple like weather, so if you choose this approach, it’s important your security guard and staff members are familiar with standard protocol for when weather changes or something inhibits you for the usual approach.
Inside the Dispensary – This is probably the most common approach to dispensary security guards we see in each Colorado and California. A security guard will check your ID upon entering the building before you approach the front desk for your formal customer check in process. This standard practice is reliable, but limits visibility to the outside of the building. That shortcoming can easily be remedied if the security guard post has security camera monitors to view the outside of the building without leaving their post at the entrance.
Front Desk Agent – Another popular practice is having your security guard operate as the front desk agent both checking ID’s and scanning customers into the formal check in queue. However, this approach comes with one major shortcoming: controlling customer experience. When a customer visits your dispensary, the person checking them into the queue is the first impression that someone has of your business, so it’s important you make it count. Many security guards can’t be counted on to provide friendly customer service. They’re trained to swipe ID’s, check in customers, and monitor the building. This can be a much different experience from having a friendly customer service professional welcome you to the store, answer any questions, and make you feel like you belong. A cold security guard who doesn’t look up from their desk and barely mutters “Hello” under their breath can really be off putting.
Helix Security exclusively employs security guards that have first-hand field experience from veterans and ex-law enforcement, to security and surveillance professionals. Each of our guards undergoes a comprehensive training to understand security best practices from former SWAT team members and certified arrest control professionals, lead by Sgt. Grant Whitus, former SWAT team leader, and Joaquin Baca, a twenty year veteran in arrest control, defense tactics, and a martial arts instructor. We want our security guards to make your customers feel welcome and safe at the same time, which is why each of our security guards undergoes extensive courtesy training to provide a friendly, customer service centric guard that makes your customers feel both welcome and safe.
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