As the medical marijuana industry surges across the country and the recreational cannabis market explodes into states that have legalized it, facility owners, managers, and consultants must be prepared with cannabis facility safety strategies.
Fortunately, there are a growing number of resources online to help business owners achieve the cannabis safety solutions necessary for success.
1. Know the Local or State Rules
Entering the cannabis industry or growing your existing business can be a daunting task, much more difficult than growers or processors initially expect. Just because marijuana is legal to sell doesn’t mean that just anyone can start growing and selling.
Each state has its regulations and restrictions on zoning, cultivation, product standards, processing standards, and safety.
Legalization involves regulation. Currently, each state has its compliance regulations regarding cannabis safety. These involve standards for safety-related factors such as:
- Access control
- Documentation of security operations
- Registry maintenance
- Video surveillance storage and monitoring=
- Alarm systems
- Storage systems
The above is just a small sample. Make sure you’ve received a cannabis safety inquiry before you go too far.
2. Conscientiously Build or Renovate
Whether you’re choosing a pre-existing building or completing a new cannabis facility, you should always keep physical security features in mind. The building design is your first line of defense, with strategic barriers, access points, and distribution. But in addition to physical security, you should also consider your building as part of your company’s long-term security strategy.
Your state regulations on growing and selling marijuana are likely to change. In addition, your operation may simply change. Your business could change from a medical cannabis-growing facility to a large-scale operation with an on-site dispensary. If current regulations change or you need to change your business model, flexible infrastructure is your friend.
A building you can work with, the security systems you can adapt, and the production systems you can adjust will be critical to the long-term security of your business.
3. Get Marijuana Growers Insurance
To fully protect your property and prepare for loss, you need to invest in marijuana grower insurance.
The issuance of a policy will depend on whether your cannabis company meets the prerequisites. These usually include:
- Having internal systems in your manufacturing plant, such as electrical and HVAC, evaluated and approved.
- Maintaining operational and compatible security systems.
- Having adequately secured storage systems installed.
Do your research to ensure you get coverage tailored to your needs, be it live plant coverage, finished stock coverage, etc.
4. Hire with Care
Internal theft is as likely, if not more so, than external threats. The people who work with your crops or produce them every day have the easiest access. And they are usually under the slightest suspicion.
Prevent theft from the inside by maintaining rigorous standards. When selecting your essential grow-facility staff, you should always hire with caution. To begin with, all grow facility employees should be thoroughly vetted and background-checked. Hiring is just one function to prevent employee theft in your growing operations. The second step involves implementing the appropriate internal security technology and procedures.
5. Maintain Appropriate Safety Training and Operational Processes at Cannabis Facilities
When complying with clearly defined regulations means the difference between operating or being out of business, employees must be well trained. Operational processes must be standardized and followed at all times, and security protocols must be followed with the same care. Employees should be trained on how to respond to daily safety and security concerns. You should also conduct employee training for worst-case scenarios, such as responding in an active shooter event.
You should also train your growth operations staff on how to detect and report suspicious behavior. Cultivating an environment of trust and integrity and establishing systems for reporting inappropriate behavior will go a long way.
6. Implement General Security Measures Indoors and Outdoors
Interior and perimeter security measures are required for proper operation. These usually include:
- Video surveillance systems
- Building access control systems
- Alarm and notification systems
- Network systems
- Security personnel/security guards
Building security will be critical to meeting your state’s operating standards, but don’t neglect additional security measures beyond your building. You can also help protect your business with safety features like fencing and signage, protective lighting, and defensive landscaping.
7. Choose the Right Security Systems for Cannabis Facilities
There are three main reasons why your cannabis facility needs a good security system:
- Your business compliance depends on it – you’ll need documenting and operational safety systems to pass inspection.
- You face a higher risk of theft – marijuana growers operations are often easily detectable to those who know what to look for. And with the high cash value inside, they are a desirable target.
- Good security makes your business safer against intrusive theft and insider jobs. Good security improves business.- With high-quality security and camera systems in place, your operations will run more efficiently and safely, increasing your chances of success.
Take some time to evaluate your options before choosing a commercial cannabis safety provider.
First, find a security company with experience in cannabis facility security. This indicates that they have a working knowledge of state and local cannabis safety regulations, as well as a good understanding of the types of security threats you need protection against.
Next, make sure they offer cutting-edge technology. Skimping on technology is not the way to go when you are protecting a grow facility. And while you can expect to pay a lot for surveillance and security systems, you should always make sure you get a fair price and that the service and quality you receive are worth what you pay.
If you’re looking for medical marijuana security services, contact Ozark Protective Services. We’ll be happy to talk with you about our experience, technology, and flexible cannabis facility security services.