Cannabis Dispensary Security Hiring Best Practices, Part 3: Know Who You’re Hiring

You’ve vetted several security firms and asked the right questions. Now you’ve narrowed your decision down to one or two firms. It’s time, now, to make a decision.

Trust, but verify.

Before you sign that contract, make sure you verify a few more critical items:

  • Are you willing to make available all personal resumes, qualifications, training documents, and any other documents as needed to our company or if required by local law enforcement?
  • How rigorous is your hiring process? Beyond a background check, does it includes oral boards and polygraphs?
  • What sort of assurances can you provide that guards are
  • Can you verify that you carry more than adequate insurance?
  • Can you verify guards are well trained, professional, disciplined and follow the chain of command?

Further, determine what sort of relationship the security company has with local law enforcement. This is critical. Relationships matter, and if the firm doesn’t maintain a liaison and a positive relationship with local authorities, this could likely become an issue.

  • Do you have a positive relationship with local law enforcement?
  • What is your relationship with local law enforcement?
  • Do you have a liaison you work with directly?

Ensure your security company has procedures in place to monitor guard activity and ensure accountability.

It’s 2am, do you know what your security guards are doing? In an industry that operates in many gray areas between federal, state and local laws, transparency and accountability is critical. Your subject to audits and inspections, and if you don’t have all your ducks in a row, guess what? It could cost you your license!

Ask the security company, “What procedures and processes do you have in place to ensure the guards are performing all the tasks they’re responsible for?”

Some companies have manual processes that vary dramatically from company to company. Joel Logan, however, points out that some companies fully embrace technology to provide transparency and ensure accountability. Joel’s company, Reliance Security, requires all their guards to use their mobile application, RelianceTrac.

The application enables guards to log all of their tasks, receive alerts, be assigned tasks in “real-time” and scan checkpoints from their mobile device. Further, any potential issue, from suspicious activities to parking issues, can be documented and monitored, allowing Reliance’s dispatchers and supervisors to observe live data that helps them proactively resolve any issue that could potentially arise.

Reliance Security is also able to provide real-time reports to dispensaries and grow operations, which can prove invaluable when dealing with law enforcement or regulatory agencies. Even operations that may think they have adequate security measures in place may still encounter problems, including being subjected to fines–or worse, getting shut down–simply because they’re unable to document all of their security procedures and safeguards.

Make sure your security company conducts ongoing background checks.

One critical issue that most companies overlook is to find out whether or not the security firm they are going to hire not only conducts an initial background check on their guards, but if they conduct ongoing background checks. Better yet, can they conduct ongoing background checks on your employees.

Why is it so important for your security company to conduct ongoing background checks? Think about it. Cannabis is “green gold”. To the criminally inclined or cash-strapped employee, the opportunity to participate in nefarious schemes could be too tempting. It’s not unlikely that some employees or guards may be tempted to supplement their income; likewise, it’s safe to assume that employees or guards will be approached by greedy, unscrupulous friends, family, perhaps even cartel members.

To minimize risk, it just makes good business sense to conduct ongoing background checks, and that they make sure to document and track any suspicious incidents. This is clearly an issue that needs to monitored on an ongoing basis.

To make sure your security provider is in alignment, don’t forget to ask the following questions:

  • How often do you conduct background checks on the guards who will be protecting our facility?
  • Can you do ongoing periodic background checks on our employees?
  • What procedures and protocols do you have in place to track and monitor suspicious incidents?

While no security measure is 100% infallible and ongoing background checks may not screen out every bad apple, conducting periodic checks can be an effective component of your overall security program and protocol.

  • To learn more about Reliance Security and cannabis security specialist, Joel Logan, visit Reliance Security.
  • To learn more about Wherefour and founder Yoela Palkin, visit Wherefour.
  • To learn more about  Sapphire Protection and senior director Tony Gallo, visit  Sapphire Protection.
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