Cannabis is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. While it remains illegal under federal law in the United States, marijuana has been legalized for various uses under state law, creating new opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs hoping to take advantage of its demand.
A Fast-Growing, In-Demand Industry
This is a fast-moving industry. A New York University study found that the number of adults between the ages of 50 and 64 using marijuana has doubled in the last year and now represents 9 percent of that age group’s population. Another study, this one from Pew Research, found 62 percent of American adults believe cannabis should be legal. And, the industry is likely to generate $17.5 billion in tax revenue by 2030 if it continues to grow at the same rate. All of these factors point to one thing – the potential for a booming business.
Yet, like all businesses, there are risks to navigate and overcome. Business owners, for example, need to be aggressive in protecting their costly inventory of products while providing the right experience to consumers.
Improving Security While Keeping Product Easily Accessible
The demand for cannabis comes with security risks. Protecting products, while keeping them within an arm’s reach, is critical. Today’s dispensaries need to incorporate easy-to-use and highly reliable security solutions to keep products safe, but accessible. For those building a cannabis business, security must play a big role in day-to-day operations.
Two key factors must be addressed:
- Consumer experience must be met with ease of access and visually-appealing displays
- Product needs to be protected from hands-on exposure and theft
Unlike a traditional retail store, cannabis dispensaries need to keep products behind glass and out of touch from the consumer. Yet, consumers shop with their eyes first, creating a need to have a secure but clear display available.
One key solution is the use of RFID-enabled security devices. Each cannabis product is placed in a secure cabinet that can be easily locked and unlocked using an RFID-enabled device. With a simple swipe of the hand, the sales rep can open the drawer to the product and provide the consumer with access to see and even feel the product, much like what happens in a high-end jewelry store. Some RFID-enabled security devices, such as Senseon Plus, even come equipped with audit trail capabilities that make it possible to track cabinet access and monitor employee activity. These advanced security devices keep the product within a moment’s access, but limit the risk of theft.
Meeting Regulatory Risk Requirements
States are putting in place new and varied rules for dispensaries to follow, some of which have to do with security. In particular, in states where only medical use is allowable, dispensaries must take numerous steps to protect consumer information. They must follow HIPAA requirements and ensure that any written prescriptions are adhered to properly. The need to protect data like this requires a higher-end, intuitive security system, one designed to minimize any risk of personal data being exposed.
Managing Financial Risks
The complexities of the cannabis industry hinge on the need to properly report sales, as any retailer must, but also to move money properly. Under federal guidelines in the United States, this becomes challenging. It is possible for dispensaries to sell cannabis in states with legal authority to do so, but at the same time, it’s not possible to move money electronically. In addition, traditional banks are unable to manage these funds for retailers.
The result is a higher level of risk of theft and burglary in dispensaries. Camera systems, alarm systems, and fast access to protection are all key aspects to shielding businesses from these risks.
Overcoming Third-Party Risk
A final concern for cannabis dispensary security has to do with third-party risk – the sharing of information and consumer data over the internet for online sales as well as vendor-to-dispensary relationships. Cyber threats exist, increasing the need for companies to utilize some of the most intuitive and reliable security suites for protecting such transactions and information sharing. Without this type of protection, identity theft, ransomware, and viruses can all infiltrate a business with ease.
Building Security Into Your Cannabis Dispensary Business
Senseon is a leader in producing electronic cabinet locking systems that enable retail dispensaries to effectively protect their merchandise while displaying it. Installing security solutions with RFID technology is one of the most important first steps to take when building a secure cannabis business, especially with competition among dispensaries growing in many areas.
With the proper security solutions, it is possible for cannabis dispensaries to create the right experience for customers, while mitigating risk and meeting compliance requirements. As dispensaries work toward enhancing security, put your trust in Senseon’s award-winning security solutions.