MJBizMag August 2020 - 82

Green
Lockdown
points through windows, " Whitus added.
" Reinforcing potential entry points through
the AC or other ducts in the roof is also
common. "
Growers can incorporate cinder block or
concrete-reinforced walls with multiple layers
of drywall for interior ceilings, Simon added.
During the drying process, store product and
flower in rooms with steel mesh-reinforced
walls secured with commercial-grade locks.
" The whole point of a secure storage room
or vault is to make sure that whoever gets into
your facility will not have easy access to your
stash, " Simon said. " Whether a vault is raided
usually is based on how long it takes somebody
to break into the vault. "
In Albuquerque, Stuart's dry room/dry
product storage is an actual vault inherited
from the site's previous tenant, a jewelry
manufacturer. " It's all reinforced concrete,
endowed with rebar every 12 inches, with big
combination steel doors. That probably would
have cost us $150,000 to put in. "
Outside, if there's any risk of ram-raiding-using
a vehicle to smash into a building-consider
installing bollards, protective
concrete or steel posts that deflect vehicles.
Even Jersey barriers, the concrete blocks that
sometimes direct highway traffic, can be a
useful deterrent. (Jersey barriers cost about
$300 per 4 feet.)
Though securing the structure is only
the beginning, growers don't need to
go overboard, Whitus said. " We've seen
companies spend tens of thousands of
dollars in building secure walls and securing
windows. But we feel that if you have guards
during the day and a good monitoring system
at night, you're spending far less money and
still getting law enforcement there. Money is
better spent on a good system than on trying
to fortify a location. "
ALARMS, CAMERAS, ACCESS
Security for a grow facility can range from
simple keypads to state-of-the-art cameras
with advanced analytics that detect changes
in humidity to biometric data such as face
scans or fingerprints. But most growers can
leave those features to the movies and focus
on essentials that make the most of their
investment.
80 Marijuana Business Magazine | August 2020
California-based Nug lost at least $2 million in product when its cultivation facility was
robbed earlier this year. Courtesy Photo
Cannabis Businesses
Targeted in Looting Spress
Dozens of cannabis businesses in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio
and Oregon were damaged or looted following protests in response to
George Floyd's death in May while he was in police custody in Minneapolis.
Several business owners said they believe the damage was inflicted by
professional criminals rather than the protesters themselves.
Nug CEO John Oram told Marijuana Business Magazine that all five of the
company's California locations had been targeted, with losses reaching into
the millions of dollars-not including property damage or lost sales hours.
Stolen inventory from Nug's cultivation operations alone is at least $2
million, he said.
Nug's two retail shops remained open for business during the protests,
Oram said, with a vastly reduced inventory and battered storefronts that
have boarded-up windows and doors.
" For over 10 years, my team and I have been building a top-10 brand in
arguably the largest cannabis market in the world, and to see it crushed in
24-48 hours is just heartbreaking. I want to cry, " Oram said.
The Farmacy Berkeley in California was broken into by armed robbers,
according to owner Sue Taylor, who said several cars pulled up outside
her shop after midnight May 30. She said the vehicles carried roughly 30
individuals who overwhelmed security guards and broke into the shop. Early
on June 1, would-be robbers targeted the shop two more times, she said.
Not far south from The Farmacy Berkeley, Magnolia Wellness in Oakland,
California, also was hit multiple times and " cleaned out " of its cannabis
inventory, said CEO Debby Goldsberry.
" There's nothing left at our place, " Goldsberry said, adding that her shop was
broken into on May 30 and May 31. Perpetrators stole all the inventory on
site, and police didn't respond for hours, Goldsberry said.
Goldsberry believes criminals were using the protests as a cover. " There's
organized gangs that have been targeting cannabis businesses for years.
That's what this is, " Goldsberry said.
She's also not sure how much the losses total or if her insurance will cover
any of the repairs or lost inventory.
- John Schroyer

MJBizMag August 2020

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