2022 has seen a sharp increase in thefts from cannabis dispensaries in the United States and Canada. Most cannabis retailers are taking extra precautionary measures to protect their stores, but recent incidents have forced dispensary owners to review security measures to prevent theft. Since cannabis is still a cash-based business in many US states, and pocket stocks come in and out all day, loss prevention should remain your top priority. However, when thieves can get violent with guns and lives are at stake, even the best-trained employees and the toughest safes are vulnerable.
From a business perspective, loss prevention is an important factor in increasing your bottom line, and from a cannabis compliance perspective, failure to monitor inventory closely can mean loss of the license. First and foremost, you must ensure the safety and security of your staff, who could be held at gunpoint or worse, shot, if they do not comply with the demands of thieves who may enter your dispensary unannounced. With so much at stake to protect your staff, prevent inventory loss, protect your store and prevent theft, investing in the solutions below makes good business sense.
When thinking about loss prevention, there are two types of theft to watch out for: internal (staff) and external (customer or random person). No one wants to view their employees or customers as potential thieves, but that’s the sad reality of all retailers, not just cannabis stores. It’s also true that certain aspects of the cannabis industry make it particularly prone to theft. Let’s dive into some basic things that every cannabis retailer should incorporate into their dispensary.
1. Excellent lighting and CCTV
Thieves operate in the dark and good lighting will always discourage potential thieves. Also try not to block your dispensary windows with signage or anything that might obstruct the view of the outside. In Canada, according to the regulations, you must not be able to see inside a cannabis retail store. Therefore, it is essential to have 24X7 video surveillance inside and outside the premises. Employees also need to be able to see what’s going on outside the store during business hours so that if they see anything unusual, they can prepare accordingly.
2. Appropriate security systems and identity verification
Hiring armed security guards is an option in the United States, but it can be prohibitively expensive. However, entry points can still be fortified with well-trained security guards, weapons detection systems and other security systems. Well-trained security guards make customers feel welcome and maintain a zero-tolerance policy on activities that may pose a threat to the store or its staff. These guards or any other staff should also check the IDs of all clients entering your dispensary. The employee must then either keep it in a safe place or give it to the attendant who takes care of the customer until he leaves.
3. Employee training and professional transportation
Employees are a cannabis retailer’s front line defense against theft, so it is necessary to train them in security protocols and procedures, preparing them for the different ways to respond to threats and keep the dispensary safe and secure. of its occupants. You should also invest in proper and secure transportation for your money and cannabis so that your business is not vulnerable to internal or external threats. These days, many security companies are tailoring their services to cannabis dispensaries, and it’s best to hire their professional services to all your security needs.
1. Upgrade your security systems
While cannabis safety gear is an expensive investment, you don’t want to skimp. The monetary nature of cannabis in the United States makes it an easy target for theft and theft. In Colorado and Washington, all cannabis outlets must be equipped with security cameras and alarms with 24-hour monitoring. All cannabis outlets worldwide would do well to follow this example, even if this is not required by the local government.
2. Limit wastage with dispensary design
Change your store interior design can prevent loss. Guide the flow of traffic by strategically placing storefronts or barriers to maintain orderly queues on the sales floor. This allows your staff to keep tabs on customers as they browse. These strategically placed display cases can also limit theft. Keep all your inventory behind the sales counter and leave a sample of each product in the display case for customers to peruse.
3. Invest in multiple safes and vaults
At the end of each business day, all of your inventory and cash on hand should be locked away in multiple safes and biometric safes. These should be equipped with 24-hour monitoring and alerts so that you know immediately when a safe or vault opens, and only your senior supervisors should have access to it. High-tech safes can be expensive, but given that you’ll be storing your company’s blood in them, it’s a wise and necessary investment.
Research has revealed that up to 90% of losses reported by cannabis companies are due to employee theft. That’s why you need to take proactive steps to prevent internal theft.
1. Cultivate a loyal and loyal team
The cannabis industry is notorious for low wages and relies on temporary part-time workers to staff retail outlets. But when a clinic can pay a living wage, hire full-time staff with benefits, and even offer modest profit-sharing agreements, it goes a long way to cultivating loyalty. A well-groomed employee is less likely to bite the hand that feeds her. Even if you built a cannabis retail who you can trust, it is wise to have more than one employee working at all times with a manager or supervisor on each shift. Have a thorough hiring process that not only checks a potential employee’s skills, but also their background.
2. Be diligent about inventory checks
Since inventory moves in and out of your cannabis retail store often, regular inventory checks are essential to prevent losses. Have a clear system for how cannabis products and cash will be handled by employees. Your staff should count cash at least twice a day, once before the store opens and again after it closes. Ideally, these counts should occur after each shift change so you can identify who was working at the time of the loss. Sounds like a lot of work, but a smart one inventory management tool can take the headache out of inventory checks. Cova’s system maintains real-time inventory counts as each transaction occurs. All you have to do is reconcile your physical count with the general ledger.
3. Invest in a cannabis-specific outlet to protect your business
A robust cannabis point-of-sale (POS) system can help prevent losses. Cova POS was built specifically with the cannabis industry in mind. Thus, Cova allows you to set permissions for each member of your staff, restrict certain abilities to only managers, and prohibit employees from authorizing discounts for their friends or selling products to each other. With Cova, you can also control the level of access each staff member has to different rooms in the clinic. Therefore, if and when a crime is committed, you will know who was in a particular room at that time. Request a demo to learn how Cova can protect your cannabis retail investment.
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