Robbery Awareness

Mention the word ‘security!’, and most people envision large uniformed men with big guns.  If it’s reached the point for men and guns, it’s too late.  Security begins with preparation, and the medical cannabis business is subject to the un-welcomed attention of the nefarious.  Robbery can be committed by anyone—a customer, a total stranger, a vendor, or a member of your staff.  It only needs opportunity, but the better your preparation, the fewer opportunities there will be.

Your State may offer security guidelines, but in case they don’t, here are some things to consider.

Control access to the building.  Do what jewelry stores do—customers are buzzed in.  Your cash register should be visible to law enforcement on the street, but not positioned so that people know how much you have in the cash drawer.  Actually, it is best to keep the bulk of your cash in a safe in the back, and make bank deposits two or three times a day.  Keep an operational minimum of cash in the register, and limit the size of bills you’ll accept (usually, nothing larger than a $2o).  Have at least two employees present during store hours, and when making bank runs.  Do nothing solo!

There’s no need to keep all your stock in public areas; select a few samples of each item and put them in the display case.  When a customer says, ‘<em>that’s</em> what I need’, get it from the back.  There should be limited access to the storeroom, which must be locked at all times.

Have a video system with <em>good </em>cameras—no fakes.  You want cameras that produce a very clear, sharp image.  You need two cameras focused on the cash register, the safe, and storeroom.  Two cameras <em>each.</em>  It’s most beneficial for the cameras to be monitored from a remote location, where feeds can be also recorded, backed up, and stored.  If someone can steal your cash and inventory, they can steal the security hard drive as well, unless it’s kept somewhere thieves can’t get to it.

Vetting your staff is crucial.  In addition to criminal histories, fingerprint and reference checks, have each job candidate interviewed by more than one person, and compare notes.  Follow your instincts—if the answer to a question makes you even slightly uncomfortable, explore that feeling and don’t hesitate to say ‘no’ if in doubt!

If you are robbed, the only thing to do is cooperate. Don’t trigger an alarm if you can’t do it safely.  Insurance will replace your money and inventory.  Insurance won’t replace you—heroism can lead to injury and/or death (yours).  STAY CALM, make mental notes about the appearance of the thief, and try to remember details about the weapon.  Cooperate, but <em>don’t volunteer</em> anything (which some people do because they think it will keep them safe).

We’ve barely scratched the surface in this article.  Check out CTI’s video with detailed information about Robbery Awareness at: