MJBizMag April 2023 - 32

What Law Enforcement Wants You to Know
Security by the Numbers
Eight expert tips can help cannabis businesses win licenses
and ensure safety
By Omar Sacirbey
I
f you find the idea of working with
police who once busted marijuana
entrepreneurs to be onerous,
you're not alone. But for business
owners willing to build understanding
and invest in security, the relationship
that ensues can be mutually
beneficial.
Cannabis entrepreneurs will find
that local police can help protect their
operations and employees, while police
find that familiarizing themselves with
marijuana businesses makes their jobs
easier and safer.
For one thing, most police
departments are willing to advise
licensed marijuana businesses on their
security plans at no cost.
" Almost every police and sheriff's
department that I've ever known, if you
call them and say, 'I would like to get
security advice and a security briefing
for my location,' most departments
will send a police officer out to walk
the property with you and give you
some tips-and they'll do that for free, "
said Kyle Kazan, the founder and CEO
of Glass House Brands, a vertically
integrated cannabis business in
California, and a former patrol officer
in Torrance.
During such visits, police might
share information such as their
response times and which alarm
systems operate best with their
departments-plus tips, such as turning
off motion sensors if there is a dog or
cat in the room.
" Always include local police and
regulators in the design process. Seek
32 April 2023 | MJBizMagazine
their input and their guidance, " Kazan
advised.
While cannabis business owners
stand to benefit from these visits, most
police departments also value them.
" They don't know if they're going
to be in a dangerous situation in your
business at 2 in the morning. If they've
actually been in your business, then
they have some familiarity with it, "
Kazan said.
SCARE OFF ROBBERS
Security experts advise cannabis
business owners to solicit advice from
private security companies, which
will usually make a first visit to the
business for free.
If a cannabis business implements
good advice about alarms, cameras,
lights, safes and other precautions,
intruders could be gone before
product is stolen, sparing the chance
of a dangerous confrontation between
police and intruders.
Forging good relationships with
local police means not only complying
with regulations but asking officers
what safety and security measures
they want you to take-even if those
measures involve going above and
beyond what's required by regulators.
" We go to the police and say, 'We know
what the state and local regs want, but
what do you want?' " said Tony Gallo,
founder and CEO of the Sapphire Risk
Advisory Group, a cannabis security
consulting business in Texas.
For example, a police chief in one
California town asked Gallo's retail
clients if they would put their address
on the roof in 3-foot-high letters so that
if a helicopter flew overhead, officers
could see the address.
" It was not in the city or state regs,
but we did it. And because of that, the
police chief told the city council that
we were very cooperative, and we won
the license, " Gallo said.
Other requests Gallo's clients
have received include placing large,
weighted flowerpots as barriers
against cars that try to crash into
stores, installing an extra entry gate,
conducting police walkthroughs
before new store openings and
complying with specific camera and
lighting requests.
" If we are asked to put weighted
flowerpots in the front of your
building, and that's going to make the
chief of police happy, I'm going to put
flowerpots in front of the building, "
Gallo said.
Beyond forging relationships with
police, Kazan said that marijuana
business owners are entitled to the
same protection as any other company.
" You're running a legal business.
Avail yourself of those resources
there-you're paying for them, " he
said. " It's good for you, and it's good
for a lot of the law enforcement
officers. "
On the following pages, cannabis
security experts share the top eight
considerations that marijuana
businesses should keep in mind when
developing a security plan for their
company.

MJBizMag April 2023

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