Cannabis Dispensary Security Hiring Best Practices, Part 2: Experience Matters

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The legal cannabis and medical marijuana industry is the fastest growing industry in the country. The growth has spawned what many call the “Green Rush,” and with any emerging industry experiencing rapid growth, it attracts a lot of subpar “wannabes” who simply want to capitalize on an exciting industry in which they think they can make a “quick buck”.

Hire a security company with extensive security experience in the legal cannabis and/or medical marijuana industries, yet can also provide comprehensive services

Experience speaks volumes. We’re dealing in a “high-risk” industry, and you don’t want to hire a security company that needs “on-the-job” training.

Bottom line: Hire a security company with extensive security experience in legal cannabis and/or medical marijuana.

A nationally recognized leader in cannabis security, Tony Gallo, senior director of Dallas-based, Sapphire Protection, agrees on the importance of hiring a company with extensive experience in legal cannabis. Gallo has decades of experience in loss prevention, audits, safety, and risk/emergency management in both a strategic and tactical capacity.

Gallo offers these words of advice, “Don’t let companies with limited Cannabis security experience learn their mistakes from on your dime.”

To determine if your prospective security company has the right experience, make sure to ask them the right questions:

  • How many clients in the legal cannabis industry do you have?
  • Have any clients terminated their relationship with you? If so, why?
  • Do you require all the guards who would be protecting our facility to be held to the [State] Law Enforcement Standards and Training qualifications? Or, have they all gone through military and/or law enforcement training?
  • Do you require that your guards go through ongoing training that specifically addresses the unique requirements of the legal cannabis industry? Do they take “refresher” type courses to maintain their skills?
  • What makes your officers uniquely qualified and knowledgeable to protect our facility?

Hire a company that can provide comprehensive services.

While not always possible, it can be ideal if you can hire a company that can manage most of your security needs. Some companies will procure equipment, supervise construction, install alarm and CCTV monitoring, support hiring processes, perform employee surveillance and investigations, procure insurance, provide 24/7 response coverage, training logistics, transportation of cash and product.

Avis Bulbulyan, founder and CEO of Bulbulyan Consulting Group, agrees, although, he also offer a few words of caution. While offering comprehensive services can be cost-effective and convenient, “You don’t want one company with too much power without a check and balance. If one company is controlling everything without oversight, that’s a security concern as well.”

Are you involved in the Cannabis Industry — as a business or a patient/consumer? If so, do you have a story idea or want to be interviewed for a future column? Email Jeremy Kossen at and follow him on Twitter @CannaAuthority.

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