According to Bloomberg, the cannabis industry is expected to be worth approximately $50 billion by the year 2026.
This potential eightfold increase compared to today’s market means financially fruitful opportunities for growers, dispensaries, employees and all parties connected with the cannabis industry.
In fact, the Green Rush of today is tantamount to the California Gold Rush of 1848 to 1855 that brought about 300,000 prospectors, investors and entrepreneurs to California.
Similar to the Gold Rush, however, are nefarious characters looking to swindle legitimate cannabis industry members out of goods and cash. Equally frustrating are confusing state and federal regulations that put good-intentioned businesses and individuals in jeopardy of running afoul of the law.
For businesses to thrive and reach the astounding $50 billion mark over the next eight to nine years, security must be at the forefront of the industry’s goals. Transporting products and cash, securing facilities, regulatory compliance and financial support are just some of the most critical security issues facing the cannabis industry today and in the years to come.
Safe and secure asset transportation
Compared to other industries, the legal cannabis market poses a greater risk of thievery. Federal banking restrictions have resulted in the transportation of huge sums of cash, which makes these vehicles easy targets for the criminally minded.
Safe transportation begins with discrete and secure vehicles that are tracked at all times via GPS. Live video monitoring of the assets inside the transportation vessel provides full transparency and confidence for the grower, driver, dispensaries and all parties involved.
Another critical aspect of transporting goods and cash is finding trusted drivers that have been vetted with thorough background checks. Not only can cannabis security companies provide drivers quickly and efficiently, but they also ensure visual verification of the vehicle’s location and safety of the precious cargo inside.
Facility security and electronic monitoring
The physical security of facilities, equipment, property, employees and more cannot be overstated. Without proper security measures in place, products and cash are at risk while unauthorized access could result in damage and vandalism.
To ensure physical security, on-site measures must be instituted. These initiatives include armed and unarmed on-site guard services, closed circuit television surveillance systems for remote location monitoring, state-of-the-art locks, protective barriers and more all aimed at thwarting intrusion attempts.
Another critical aspect of facility security is employee training on best practices when entering and exiting buildings. To further ensure the safety of employees, electronic security measures via video surveillance provide early intrusion detection — all of which can be monitored remotely from mobile devices 24 hours per day.
Operations security and regulatory compliance
For people new to the industry — not to mention those who have been involved since cannabis was first legalized in California — the labyrinth of state and local laws can be overwhelming. Without proper license applications and operational compliance with state and local regulatory requirements, individuals and businesses can be susceptible to fines, facility closures and perhaps even prison time.
The first order of business is to understand safety and security obligations. It is also critical to conduct an internal compliance audit with professionals that will provide proper guidance.
This audit includes disaster-planning solutions to minimize downtime for a business, information technology security measures to stave off data breaches and methods for handling sensitive information.
With proper guidance, compliance gaps can be identified and remedied quickly to ensure the integrity of everyone involved in the cannabis industry.
One of the biggest challenges facing the cannabis industry, especially for startup businesses, are issues such as proper bookkeeping, cash management, and tax and banking support to minimize the risks of Anti-Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act violations.
Along with ensuring 100 percent compliance, securing reliable banking partners is equally important to comply with confusing banking laws and regulation. Moreover, trustworthy banking partners are the catalyst for reliable payment and transfer services.
The safe storage of cash assets is also of the utmost importance. Vaults that can be monitored digitally at all times can give businesses peace of mind.
And as previously mentioned, proper financial management begins with transporting goods and cash through reliable, trustworthy and fully transparent means.
The risks of doing it alone
As the Green Rush pushes forward, working with an experienced and professional team has never been more important. Marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) have a lot to lose if proper security measures aren’t implemented on a consistent basis. These risks run the gamut from thievery to running afoul of state laws to business closures.
It is only through meeting and exceeding California state requirements that MRBs can rest assured that products, facilities, employees and more are safe and fully compliant.
With proper procedures and protocols in place, the cannabis industry can eclipse $50 billion by 2026 in a secure environment aimed at minimizing risks and maximizing growth.
OSS provides risk management solutions founded upon proven security protocols and practices that anticipate and mitigate the widest scope of potential threats to ensure maximum loss prevention for marijuana-related -businesses (MRBs).