Dispensary Employee Security: Training and Protocols

by | Jan 24, 2024

Dispensary Employee Security

You’re a cannabis business owner, navigating the vibrant world of running a bustling dispensary. Laughter hums alongside the gentle whir of grinders, shelves showcasing a technicolor cornucopia of cannabis delights. It’s a far cry from the dark alleys of prohibition’s past. But beneath the smoky surface of friendly vibes and aromatic bliss, another reality exists—the constant need for unwavering security. And, like it or not, dispensary employee security is one of the most important areas to focus on.

The Need for Strong Dispensary Employee Security

It’s no secret the cannabis industry operates with a bullseye painted on its back. Cash-heavy transactions, valuable inventory, and complex regulations make dispensaries attractive targets for both external and internal threats.

So far, there haven’t been consistent industry-wide efforts to track crimes. But you don’t have to look far to get anecdotal evidence. According to the National Cannabis Industry Association, so many dispensaries experience theft that it’s not a question of if but when. And like so many businesses, internal theft is as prevalent (if not more so) than external theft.

This is where your dispensary’s most valuable asset comes in: your employees. They’re not just budtenders and trimmers. They’re also the frontline soldiers in the battle for security. But just like a superhero needs training and the right gear, your employees need a robust security framework to face these challenges head-on. They also need sufficient motivation to keep their fingers out of the company inventory.

Dispensary employee security should be very, very high on your list of priorities, whether you’re thinking of opening a dispensary or already have a flourishing business.

Surprising Stats About Dispensary Employee Security

Dispensary security often evokes images of burly guards and bulletproof glass. But the real battle against theft and fraud often happens from within. Buckle up, because we’re diving into the less-talked-about aspects of dispensary employee security.

1. The Silent Threat: Non-Violent Employee Theft Is Rampant

While violent robberies grab headlines, MJBizDaily found that 90% of dispensary theft comes from employees. Shocking, right? Often, it’s cash skimming, product diversion, or manipulating inventory records—silent crimes that can bleed profits dry.

2. Turnover Trumps Training: New Hires Are a Source of Vulnerability

According to the National Retail Security Survey, businesses with high employee turnover rates (over 50%) are more likely to experience employee-related theft. The rush to fill new positions often overlooks thorough background checks and security training, creating fertile ground for vulnerabilities. Never sacrifice dispensary security for the sake of staffing.

3. Tech Tonic: Point-of-Sale Systems Are Prime Targets

While physical inventory gets the security spotlight, a study by VPNMentor discovered a large data leak involving a popular point-of-sale (POS) system used at dispensaries across the country. And when we say large, we mean that it affected at least 30,000 people. Cyber attacks compromise customer and company data, making POS security a silent threat.

These stats paint a different picture of dispensary security, one where the enemy isn’t always lurking outside your store with a crowbar. By shedding light on these under-discussed aspects, we can foster a more proactive approach to holistic employee-centric security, creating a safer environment for your business.

Employee Background Checks

First things first: trust but verify. Thorough background checks are the gatekeepers, filtering out potential risks before they blossom into full-blown problems.

Businesses with comprehensive background checks experience fewer instances of internal theft. True, a candidate who has stolen before might never steal again, but it’s not a guarantee. Employees with clean criminal records and exemplary references are more likely to stay the course.

Check your local regulations, too. Employee background checks may be required by law.

What should you check? Options include:

  • Criminal history
  • Employment history
  • References
  • Education and credential verification
  • Driving record (if they’ll do any driving or deliveries for the business)
  • Drug screening
  • Credit report
  • Identity verification
  • Social media activity

There are plenty of third-party services that can help with pre-employment screening.

Secure Closing and Opening Protocols

Think of closing procedures as the nightly lullaby to your business. Implementing clear, consistent protocols for counting cash, closing the safe, and activating alarms ensures a secure sleep for your inventory and peace of mind for your team.

Employee security protocols in the cannabis industry should be explicit and routine. Create checklists and make them accessible to all applicable employees. Train new staff on the protocols immediately.

Standardized closing procedures can significantly reduce human error and potential vulnerabilities. When everyone knows exactly what to do, it’s easy to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. Now that’s a sweet dream.

Emergency Training and Policies

Life—like a particularly potent edible—can be unpredictable.

Every dispensary needs a well-rehearsed emergency response plan, covering everything from medical emergencies to robberies. When the “hash” hits the fan, your team needs to be ready.

Regular drills and training workshops not only equip employees with the knowledge to act fast but also foster a culture of preparedness and teamwork. Organizations with proactive emergency training programs are less likely to experience accidents and injuries. And when they experience these incidents, they can handle them more effectively.

Talk about turning lemons into lemonade, cannabis-style.

Getting Your Buds on Board: Tactics for Security Buy-In

Security isn’t just a policy, it’s a mindset. Engaging your employees and making them feel invested in the dispensary’s well-being is key to fostering a culture of shared responsibility.

Open communication, regular security updates, and even gamified training programs can transform your team from bystanders to active participants. According to a 2020 Gallup poll, companies with engaged employees experience less theft and turnover, fewer safety incidents, and increased profitability, among other desirable outcomes. That’s priceless.

So, remember, security isn’t just about your alarms or video surveillance system. It’s also about empowering your employees with the knowledge, tools, and mindset to safeguard your business.

By building a team of security-conscious budtenders and trimmers, you can transform your store into a fortress of trust and tranquility.

Cannabis Security Compliance in the USA

Cannabis laws in the USA are stringent and carefully crafted to ensure the responsible cultivation, distribution, and use of cannabis products. Each state has its own regulations, as cannabis is primarily governed at the state level.

These regulations encompass various aspects of the industry, with a particular focus on security measures to prevent unauthorized access to cannabis products. Security requirements often include camera surveillance, alarm systems, access control measures, and employee background checks. Compliance is crucial for businesses to obtain and maintain licenses, with regular inspections conducted to ensure adherence.

The bureaucratic goal is to strike a balance between providing a legal framework for the burgeoning cannabis industry and addressing concerns related to public safety, product quality, and crime prevention. It’s a complicated balancing act, and you’re a part of it.

As the cannabis landscape continues to evolve, regulatory frameworks are likely to adapt to address emerging challenges and opportunities within the industry. For that reason alone, cannabis security audits should be a regular and frequent part of your security efforts. It’s not a one-and-done scenario.

Dispensary Employee Security and Deep Sentinel

Owning a cannabis business in America means navigating a dynamic landscape of rules and regulations. It’s a journey where compliance is the key to the kingdom, and businesses need more than just luck on their side. The right employees are on your side, helping to secure your business.

This is also where innovative security solutions come into play, ensuring your business remains secure and compliant. Deep Sentinel is at the forefront, offering cutting-edge dispensary security solutions that go beyond the basics. With smart technology and cannabis live security camera monitoring, Deep Sentinel’s business security camera systems prevent crime at your dispensary after you close for the night. (You read that right: cameras that prevent crime.)

In a world where regulations change like the weather, having reliable employees and a reliable security partner is more than just a luxury. It’s a necessity. Secure your growth with Deep Sentinel—because your success deserves the best protection.

Contact Deep Sentinel today for your free security consultation.

Deep SentinelA
Deep SentinelA

Need a Solution that Prevents Crime? Deep Sentinel is the only security technology that delivers the experience of a personal guard on every customer’s home and business. Visit deepsentinel.com/business or call 833-983-6006

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