Cannabis security and storage represent two vital aspects of your business model because of this highly regulated industry. Today’s blog from CustomVault discusses why robust cannabis storage options improve stakeholder relationships for your business.
You’re going to understand 21 CFR 1301.72 very well during your time as a cannabis dispensary. This is the federal regulation that outlines physical security controls needed for controlled substances for non-practitioners. Cannabis is a Schedule I drug, so therefore it needs the same type of security as, say, heroin, because there is no accepted medical use and a high potential of abuse.
For federal compliance, it comes down to the quantities of product you intend to house at your facility. Small quantities of cannabis simply need a certified safe that is bolted or cemented in place so it can’t be carried off without an extraordinary effort (i.e. a vehicle pulling it out with chains).
Larger quantities require (read: REQUIRE) specific parameters, such as wall thickness, steel rod reinforcements, and more.
Vaults must have as part of their construction:
At least 8 inches of reinforced concrete or other substantial masonry material on walls, floors, and ceiling.
Vertically and horizontal reinforcements made with ½-inch steel rods tied 6 inches on center or the structural equivalent.
Cannabis vault construction is just the first part.
Then you need a door that stands against 30 man-minutes of surreptitious entry, 10 man-minutes against forced entry, 20 man-hours against lock manipulation and radiological techniques.
You also have to consider electronic measures to detect illegal entry to the vault, and the electronic security system must be monitored 24-hours by a valid security station or company.
State Regulatory Compliance
After you plan for DEA regulations, then comes state-level compliance. States vary on what you are required to do.
Connecticut is considered a “high bar” for cannabis security. In light of the state legislature approving marijuana for recreational use and retail sales likely coming in 2022, expect a surge in security plans for these products in this market.
For your dispensary to receive state licensure in Connecticut, you need to give the state the blueprints of your facility, including the locations of all vaults. All vaults must be approved and prevent theft or loss. Your vault’s keys (if any) must be kept secure so that only authorized employees can access them. You can only allow your employees to limited-access areas, and your cannabis facility needs signage saying where customers cannot go.
If you have an extremely large stock of marijuana in Connecticut, your facility must have a supervised watchman service. Be prepared to hire an in-person security person to check on your facility at regular intervals when your facility is closed.
On the other end of the spectrum, we’ll look at Alaska. There is a lot of room for interpretation in Alaska. Your cannabis facility needs to maintain video surveillance on entrances, point-of-sale areas, and limited-access areas. You must keep video footage for up to 40 days. You’ll also need a security alarm system on all windows and doors while limiting loitering of customers.
You don’t even need locks on the windows and doors, just the alarm systems.
Having your documentation in place, from planning to a complete cannabis vault, is crucial for insurance companies, construction contractors, and local authorities for validating your business and maintaining your business license as a dispensary.
But how do you improve your business model and stakeholder relationships? What do you do when your state doesn’t have robust security requirements?
Go Above & Beyond State Requirements
Demonstrating that your cannabis facility goes above and beyond state requirements goes a long way to satisfying stakeholders in your business venture, including insurance companies, banks, investors, employees, and customers.
For example, having a backup generator in case of a power outage ensures your video surveillance system never goes off. Motion-activated video cameras make it easier to know when an intrusion occurs so your security monitoring service doesn’t have to wade through hours of footage to find a suspect on the footage.
You have another reason for robust security when you first build your cannabis facility. When you expand your building, it’s easier to integrate your current systems to future ones. Modular vaults and expandable electronic security systems future-proof your business for decades to come.
Because cannabis is highly regulated, it also faces high insurance premiums and rates. Robust cannabis storage may help you develop better policies with your insurance provider, giving you the amount of coverage you need at rates that fit your business model. Over time, you’ll save money on premiums.
Investors, including traditional banks, need to know their money is secure. That means making sure your cannabis is secure. Going above and beyond can lower your interest rates and possibly get approval for financing. Of course, your individual results will vary.
Some communities may feel wary about opening a cannabis dispensary near their homes or other businesses. Reassuring your future neighbors that your cannabis storage is secure helps you develop lasting and fulfilling relationships with your neighbors. That leads to better business all around because you turn into a vital member of your neighborhood.
Ultimately, you want to develop a loyal customer base that returns to your cannabis dispensary over and over again. Having robust dispensary storage for your facility keeps your products safe while maintaining the efficacy. Not everyone who walks into your dispensary wants to know how secure your products are. However, knowing that your place is a safe place to purchase cannabis adds one way to stand out from your competitors.
Secure Dispensary Storage Options From CustomVault Convergint
CustomVault Convergint helps you achieve the best possible secure dispensary storage options for your facility. Our team helps you develop a plan to achieve regulatory compliance, so you can have a successful facility for your valuable products. Yes, your individual results will vary. But our team can give you a better chance of cost savings over time.
Contact CustomVault Convergint, and we’ll have a conversation about your specifications.