If you haven’t noticed, there’s been a surge of criminal activity in the cannabis industry, from consistent robberies to the tragic deaths of security personnel in multiple states. While studying these recent criminal acts, there has been one common denominator with under rated security practices…. That is Building Fortification. Most cannabis operations (storefronts, MIP’s and grow operations) will spend money on guards and security systems, however forget to invest in hardening their building(s). The key here is to completely deter thieves or (with determined and sophisticated criminals) prolong a robbery as long as possible in order for law enforcement and/or armed security to have time to respond once the alarm has tripped. There are simple building hardening tips that many operations will overlook in fear of the cost factor. Below are several (incredibly cost effective) tips that are sorely under used. Leveraging and executing with the advice below and spending anywhere from one to several thousand dollars can save you from losing hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in product and/or save you from spending hundreds of thousands on static guards at your operations (which adds to liability and the threat to human life).
Below are The Top Cannabis Building Fortifying Security Tips:
Doors & Windows: Security/Fire doors with specialized locking mechanisms are not only incredibly difficult to break into, they are loved by the fire inspector because they fall into perfect compliance with fire safety and ease of exit. For as little as $1,700 (both door and labor cost) you can have one of these doors installed. Doors such as these provide instant deadbolt protection everytime the door is closed, with added security such as 4 locking points and anti-pry plates. In addition to security doors, having fixed bars around your windows (thick gauged steel, with 10″ bolts that penetrate the exterior walls to secure the bars) is preferred, even if your window is broken, the bars provide excellent deterrence and a cumbersome (time delay) challenge for criminal elements.
Lights & Signs: Good lighting and proper signage are the most underrated methods of criminal deterrence. For grow operations, there should be no reason for aesthetics in making your property look pleasing to the eye. On the contrary, the entire property should say “Go Away!”. Light the building up like a Christmas tree and have good signage. Lie to people if necessary, exaggerate the truth of what lies beyond the fence-line and/or walls of your precious grow and have signs with verbiage such as: “Trespassers Will Be Shot”, “Beware of Dog” , “Armed Guard on Site” , “Eyes on Video Surveillance/Armed Response”. Make it loud and clear to passers by, that visitors are NOT welcome. This presents a hard target and a mental deterrence that will quickly make potential thieves think twice about robbing your facility.
Fencing: If you are able to and city ordinances will not have you jumping through fiery hoops to put fencing up; then have (transparent) fencing put up. 10 foot, chain link with barbed or concertina wire at the top is preferable. Chain link is better than wooded fences for the mere fact that they are transparent (see-through). Wooden fences provide cover and give thieves a discreet blanket of protection once they are past your property line. Don’t give them this cover, allow for anyone to see past so that anyone can report suspicious activity and law enforcement and/or armed security responding to this activity can see the dangers inside the property rather than being caught off guard when they enter to apprehend criminals.
Safes: Large UL rated jewelry (no felt) safes weighing in at a minimum of 1,000lbs that are perfect for storing hundreds of pounds of cannabis product. These particular types of safe have no felt in it (different from gun safes; most gun safes have felt on the interior which can be harmful to cannabis product). When these safes are bolted to concrete ground, they are practically a fixture onto the building and will be a force to be reckoned with when/if criminals are able to penetrate far enough into your cannabis operation. We have heard from our clientele that 5 safes of the above mentioned size can hold 400-600 pounds in product (a potential recreational sales yield of 1 million dollars)….. In other words you can spend a fraction to protect your million dollars each time…. That’s right…. each time, safes don’t have an expiration date….. Thus you can use them indefinitely to protect all sorts of assets.
For more tips, and especially implementation of one or more of these security practices, reach out to one of our security experts at Security Grade Protective Services; a full service security firm that specializes in the cannabis industry.