Dispensary Security Solutions: Why Traditional Methods Don’t Cut It

by | Dec 5, 2022

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Looking for dispensary security solutions? Here’s why traditional options fall short and what owners and managers can do about it.

It’s no secret dispensaries are high-value targets of property crime. And while theft prevention is critical to the bottom line of any business, the unique vulnerabilities and risks that dispensaries experience necessitate a more proactive approach to security than what traditional methods can deliver.

To understand why, let’s look at what makes dispensary security needs so much more acute than those of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.

Dispensary Needs vs. Traditional Brick & Mortar Retail Needs

In many ways, securing a dispensary is like securing any other brick-and-mortar business. You have a physical perimeter to monitor for suspicious activity. You have entry points to be aware of. And you have valuable inventory and cash.

But that’s where the similarities end. Some notable differences should change how you approach cannabis dispensary live monitoring and security.

Large Amounts of Cash on Hand

In the United States, cannabis is still a federally outlawed substance. For a variety of reasons, that makes it much harder for dispensaries to get an FDIC bank account. (Or more complicated, at least.) Also, many customers still prefer to pay cash at dispensaries to avoid a paper trail. As a result, most dispensaries are still primarily cash businesses with significantly more cash on premises compared to traditional businesses.

More Regulations to Follow

In states where cannabis sales are legal, many cities and municipalities have put in place ordinances and codes that mandate a certain level of security. Very few traditional businesses have to follow strict security codes.

Theft-friendly Product

Cannabis is a common target for thieves. It’s valuable and easy to resell on the secondary market. It’s easy to conceal and, as a result, crooks can get away with a large amount. And unlike plenty of other traditional business products, it’s pretty much untraceable.

All these factors underscore why dispensaries need a more comprehensive and proactive approach to their security. But before we examine what that approach looks like, let’s first look at how dispensaries use traditional security solutions. And how well they work… or don’t.

How Dispensaries Use Traditional Security Solutions

Dispensaries rely on a host of different dispensary security solutions to keep criminals at bay, prevent theft, and protect their employees.

Some of the more common include burglar alarms, safes, security guards, duress alarms, reinforced doors and windows, perimeter fencing, and crime prevention through environmental design, more commonly known as CPTED.

In addition, dispensaries must be diligent about employee background checks to ensure they’re hiring trustworthy people. They must also have robust access control to keep track of who can access cash and product to limit the risk of employee theft.

Despite all of that—it’s still not enough.

The Problem with Traditional Dispensary Security Solutions

While guards, alarms, structural reinforcement, and perimeter barriers are critical to a dispensary’s security, several factors make them impractical or unsustainable.

Problem #1: The Cost

When using traditional security methods, a good security plan will layer several methods at once for comprehensive coverage. That’s great, but those costs add up quickly and can eat into profit margins—even amidst rapid growth in the cannabis industry.

Problem #2: Only Useful Once the Crime is Happening

Security solutions like alarms and reinforced doors only work once a crime starts. Even if the system works, a criminal might get away with a small amount of product and cause a large amount of property damage. A better solution would be one that would prevent thieves from even trying to break in.

Problem #3: False Alarms

Traditional motion alarms or video monitoring may go off for anything at all—like a squirrel, a gust of wind, or nearby construction. False alarms are a pain for owners. Plus, they can play a part in delaying police response when a crime occurs.

Problem #4: Space Constraints

Safes, vaults, and secure back rooms are great, but many existing locations don’t have room for them. Dispensaries can be very small spaces. Without a secure place to store product and cash, traditional alarm methods can’t provide the deterrence or time required to stop a theft.

The Ideal Dispensary Security Solutions

The best way to stop crime is to prevent it from happening in the first place. So, what are the best security solutions for a cannabis dispensary? Live video monitoring and proactive security.

Crime prevention is the principle behind remote video surveillance, which uses a combination of high-definition video (and sometimes also built-in audio) and remote guards to monitor dispensary businesses proactively after business hours. Some solutions take it a step further by using AI image analysis and live security guards–as opposed to pre-recorded voice messages or alarms–to intervene as soon as suspicious persons appear.

Cannabis video surveillance with live guard monitoring can help dispensaries identify genuine threats while disregarding false alarms. The system’s use of AI image analysis keeps costs down by only introducing a live guard when a threat presents itself. This ensures businesses have real eyes on their property when it matters most—and don’t have to pay for a remote guard to watch a squirrel or pedestrian. If something does happen, guards quickly assess the situation, intervene as necessary, and notify law enforcement if all else fails.

Dispensary Live Guard Video Monitoring in Action

Securing a dispensary and preventing theft used to be cost-prohibitive for so many. But thanks to the innovative combination of AI-driven technology and cannabis remote surveillance, there are highly effective dispensary security solutions with live video monitoring. It is now significantly easier to protect your property, prevent theft, and stay compliant with local code regulations—all without breaking the bank.

Want to see how live guard video monitoring can work for your dispensary? Talk to Deep Sentinel today to get a free consultation for your video monitoring system. Call 833.499.1681 to get started.

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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