MJBizMag August 2020 - 80

Green
Lockdown
I
n the past few years, thefts at cannabis
grow facilities have made headlines
as thieves got brasher. In 2017, for
example, Seattle cannabis businesses
(both growers and retailers) were victims
of 65 burglaries-some striking boutique
indoor growers at the most vulnerable
time: just as their crop was ready for sale.
The Seattle cannabis crime wave
revealed a weak point in the regulatory
process. After growers compared
notes and an investigative journalist
documented the thefts, Washington
state removed grow houses from its
public map of cannabis businesses. But
in just about every state, cannabiscrop
tracking isn't going anywhere, and
anyone can find growers' locations as a
matter of public record.
Such news underscores why it's up to
growers to protect themselves, according
to experts.
With wholesale recreational marijuana
prices ranging from $1,000 to $2,400
per pound in legal markets, cannabis
remains big business. In addition, the
illicit market still thrives in many states,
making cannabis crops a tempting target
for criminals.
It's hard to calculate an industrywide
total for growers' losses to theft. That's
because, experts agree, many crimes are
never reported-let alone solved. The
key for growers looking to protect their
crops: Control access, and don't make it
easy for the bad guys. Even controlling
the odor from your grow can help make
your facility a less-conspicuous target
for crooks.
" Our philosophy on security is layering
it, " said grower Drew Stuart, who uses
fences, walls, gates and technology to
safeguard High Desert Relief, the medical
marijuana company he co-owns in
Albuquerque, New Mexico. " We can't
necessarily stop anybody from wanting in.
We can just slow them down, and that's
why we do it. "
BRICK-AND-MORTAR SECURITY
The first and most obvious security consideration
is the physical plant, including
78 Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2020
walls, entries, vaults and fencing. State
regulations mandate different approaches
to structural security: Oregon demands
commercial-grade locks on exterior
access points and a steel-framed vault for
all product, while Washington requires
an alarm system on entry points and
having all fencing in view of cameras.
Experts agreed the regulations are
just a starting point. While going above
and beyond regulation-required security
might cost more, Stuart said, " It's peace
of mind, and we would invest appropriately
to do it. None of our costs (for
security) have been out of control. "
Stuart's 32,000-square-foot grow sits
behind barbed-wire fencing and 12-foot
cinder-block walls. " To anybody who
drives by, it looks like a vacant building.
(We want to) operate with no one realizing
what's going on, " he said. " Just keeping
the nuisance odor down-we seal our
rooms, use carbon filters and all that-to
not broadcast what we're doing here. "
Employees at High Desert Relief enter
through a tall, overhead gate and park
behind another sliding gate in a lot that
isn't visible from the street.
Powered gates that offer keycard
access, long-range RFID or license-plate
recognition cost $6,000 to $10,000, but
the cost is worth it, said Mihai Simon,
president of ETG Systems, a Denver
systems integrator with a heavy emphasis
on security and surveillance. Otherwise,
" people will cut corners and leave the
gate open. Proper measures cost money
to do right. ... Put in something that will
last without having to manage it all the
time-or worse, have it shut off because
it's too inconvenient to use. "
Mihai
Simon
It's hard to know how many theftrelated
losses happen at cannabis
greenhouses because growers
are reluctant to announce their
vulnerabilities. But losses do
happen-and cultivators can take
steps to protect themselves.
Here's how:
* Secure the property with an
access-controlled gate, reinforced
walls and entrances as well as
commercial-grade locks.
* Provision access points to limit
entry, including vaults and curing
and trim rooms.
* Consider a security guard to protect
employees during working hours,
but don't rely on a guard at night.
Instead, invest in smart cameras
and virtual monitoring to interrupt
would-be criminals early.
* Minimize internal losses by limiting
access to secure areas, performing
background checks and restricting
street clothes and personal belongings
to an employee locker room.
* Pay employees well to eliminate the
temptation for them to supplement
their income via internal theft.
REINFORCING THE STRUCTURE
" When you're looking at reinforcements
on your facility, you've got to focus
on the choke points, " Simon advised.
" You don't have to have the whole thing
built out of reinforced concrete to have
the building be secure and have your
employees feel safe. "
Perimeter doors should be
professional-grade steel with commercial
access-control locks. The combination
could cost from $1,500 to $3,500. Simon
and Grant Whitus, president of Denverbased
Helix Security, agree that grow
facilities should have only one entrance
with a temporary holding area. In this
mantrap, operators can screen visitors
before admitting them to restricted
access areas.
" It's common practice for indoor
cultivation (in warehouses) to reinforce
all existing windows so there's no entry

MJBizMag August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBizMag August 2020

MJBizMag August 2020 - 1
MJBizMag August 2020 - 2
MJBizMag August 2020 - 3
MJBizMag August 2020 - 4
MJBizMag August 2020 - 5
MJBizMag August 2020 - 6
MJBizMag August 2020 - 7
MJBizMag August 2020 - 8
MJBizMag August 2020 - 9
MJBizMag August 2020 - 10
MJBizMag August 2020 - 11
MJBizMag August 2020 - 12
MJBizMag August 2020 - 13
MJBizMag August 2020 - 14
MJBizMag August 2020 - 15
MJBizMag August 2020 - 16
MJBizMag August 2020 - 17
MJBizMag August 2020 - 18
MJBizMag August 2020 - 19
MJBizMag August 2020 - 20
MJBizMag August 2020 - 21
MJBizMag August 2020 - 22
MJBizMag August 2020 - 23
MJBizMag August 2020 - 24
MJBizMag August 2020 - 25
MJBizMag August 2020 - 26
MJBizMag August 2020 - 27
MJBizMag August 2020 - 28
MJBizMag August 2020 - 29
MJBizMag August 2020 - 30
MJBizMag August 2020 - 31
MJBizMag August 2020 - 32
MJBizMag August 2020 - 33
MJBizMag August 2020 - 34
MJBizMag August 2020 - 35
MJBizMag August 2020 - 36
MJBizMag August 2020 - 37
MJBizMag August 2020 - 38
MJBizMag August 2020 - 39
MJBizMag August 2020 - 40
MJBizMag August 2020 - 41
MJBizMag August 2020 - 42
MJBizMag August 2020 - 43
MJBizMag August 2020 - 44
MJBizMag August 2020 - 45
MJBizMag August 2020 - 46
MJBizMag August 2020 - 47
MJBizMag August 2020 - 48
MJBizMag August 2020 - 49
MJBizMag August 2020 - 50
MJBizMag August 2020 - 51
MJBizMag August 2020 - 52
MJBizMag August 2020 - 53
MJBizMag August 2020 - 54
MJBizMag August 2020 - 55
MJBizMag August 2020 - 56
MJBizMag August 2020 - 57
MJBizMag August 2020 - 58
MJBizMag August 2020 - 59
MJBizMag August 2020 - 60
MJBizMag August 2020 - 61
MJBizMag August 2020 - 62
MJBizMag August 2020 - 63
MJBizMag August 2020 - 64
MJBizMag August 2020 - 65
MJBizMag August 2020 - 66
MJBizMag August 2020 - 67
MJBizMag August 2020 - 68
MJBizMag August 2020 - 69
MJBizMag August 2020 - 70
MJBizMag August 2020 - 71
MJBizMag August 2020 - 72
MJBizMag August 2020 - 73
MJBizMag August 2020 - 74
MJBizMag August 2020 - 75
MJBizMag August 2020 - 76
MJBizMag August 2020 - 77
MJBizMag August 2020 - 78
MJBizMag August 2020 - 79
MJBizMag August 2020 - 80
MJBizMag August 2020 - 81
MJBizMag August 2020 - 82
MJBizMag August 2020 - 83
MJBizMag August 2020 - 84
MJBizMag August 2020 - 85
MJBizMag August 2020 - 86
MJBizMag August 2020 - 87
MJBizMag August 2020 - 88
MJBizMag August 2020 - 89
MJBizMag August 2020 - 90
MJBizMag August 2020 - 91
MJBizMag August 2020 - 92
MJBizMag August 2020 - 93
MJBizMag August 2020 - 94
MJBizMag August 2020 - 95
MJBizMag August 2020 - 96
MJBizMag August 2020 - 97
MJBizMag August 2020 - 98
MJBizMag August 2020 - 99
MJBizMag August 2020 - 100
MJBizMag August 2020 - 101
MJBizMag August 2020 - 102
MJBizMag August 2020 - 103
MJBizMag August 2020 - 104
MJBizMag August 2020 - 105
MJBizMag August 2020 - 106
MJBizMag August 2020 - 107
MJBizMag August 2020 - 108
MJBizMag August 2020 - 109
MJBizMag August 2020 - 110
MJBizMag August 2020 - 111
MJBizMag August 2020 - 112
MJBizMag August 2020 - 113
MJBizMag August 2020 - 114
MJBizMag August 2020 - 115
MJBizMag August 2020 - 116
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/20240708
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbiz-may-june-2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/20240304
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/20240102
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/20231112
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/202310
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbiz-buyers-guide-cannabis-packaging-23
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/202309
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/202308
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/202307
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-may-june-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbiz-buyers-guide-retail-strategy-23
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-march-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-february-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-january-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbiz-buyers-guide-lighting-23
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-november-december-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/202210
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbiz-buyers-guide-sustainability
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-march-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbiz-buyers-guide-cannabis-retail
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/202204
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-february-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbiz-buyers-guide-cannabis-security
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/202208
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-july-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/2022-buyers-guide-indoor-grow
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-may-june-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-packaging-automation-buyers-guide-january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-november-december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-october-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmagazine-september-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmagazine-september-2021-lighting-buyers-guide
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-may-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-january-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-november-december-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-october-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-september-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-august-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/MJBizMag/mjbizmag-july-2020
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com