We all know the holiday season is very busy with a lot more people out shopping than usual. So how are you going to maintain your security and safety programs during this busy time?
Since the cannabis holiday season operates differently from the rest of the year, you need to understand exactly how your current programs handle security and safety. After you understand your current programs, you need to plan what would be an efficient way to manage these programs when there are a lot more people in your store. You cannot indifferently rely on the same security and safety procedures you have all year, but instead, need a more dynamic program when it comes to these busy days. Your security and safety programs give your employees concise instructions, which are not only clear but easy to follow.
For the Customers/Patients:
During the holiday season, most people are more stressed and distracted. That’s why it’s even more important for you to be comfortable and trust your normal security policies and procedures before the season even starts. This trust will make it much easier to implement additional security and safety procedures during the holiday’s season. You will need to make sure in advance that every security measure is working properly i.e.: video systems, door locks, alarms system, safe, etc.
If there is something that isn't working properly, you should fix it now – not during the holiday season. Don’t block any cameras or alarms with holiday displays. Anything you put up at the store should be stationary and not interfere with your security infrastructure. Always ensure that vulnerable areas are properly locked or taken care of at all times, i.e. high dollar showcases.
For Potential Robbers:
Unfortunately, during the holiday season, external theft such as armed robberies, burglaries, and shoplifters also increase. Just as it is throughout the rest of the year, proper training of your theft awareness programs for all employees is extremely important. Every employee should be aware of how to react during these incidents.
What is an example of a good robbery prevention program?
Employees should be instructed to try not to panic in an event of a robbery and always cooperate with the robber(s). The employee should be instructed to give the robber what they want and be calm to them. Never be aggressive or defensive, because that puts not only you but also everyone inside the store in more danger.
For Your Staff:
Another important policy to discuss with your staff is store opening and closing procedures. A 20-minute meeting before Thanksgiving may be sufficient to review your Holiday security and safety programs. Having a daily security/safety checklist with reminders for your employees is important to the security and safety of your location.
You should never open or close your store alone and there should always be at least two employees in the store at all times. When opening and closing the store, an employee should always be looking for any unusual activities in the parking lot. This will ensure a more safe and secure environment and also deter robbers.
One of the most important aspects of security is trust in your team. Security and safety at your dispensary should never rely only on one person. Remember, it is a team effort, where every single member of a company knows security and safety policies and procedure and its limitations.
Remember that we work to live, not live to work, so take time to enjoy and appreciate the Holiday Season.
In conclusion, being proactive vs. reactive with your security and safety programs can make all the difference in your holiday season.
Best wishes for a very safe and prosperous Holiday Season!
Jose Alarcon is the Operations Manager at Sapphire Risk Advisory Group. Jose has a degree in Business Administration from Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. He comes from three generations of worldwide physical security designers.
Now that you’ve made the business decision to enter the cannabis industry, your first objective is not only determining if you have your financials in order but most importantly is getting your cannabis license.
Cities and states have created regulations and processes that can either become a roadblock or a safe passage to your new business venture. And sometimes, those regulations go through changes at a moment’s notice, as some license applicants in Maryland discovered. The plain fact is that all of this is new, and none of the regulators have experienced working in an industry where the main product to be sold is federally illegal.
Think of it this way: Getting a cannabis license is not as easy as when you get a driver’s license. When you go to get your driver’s license, there are a few things you can expect. A long line, some state employees who are indifferent, and an objective test which requires no interpretation. You are almost assured you will be walking out of there with a driver’s license, provided you can read and drive.
Getting a cannabis license, although similar, is not as simple. The process is long, technical, and your application is subject to the interpretation of the person or panel that is scoring it. Not only that, but there are a limited number of licenses awarded, and the competition is extreme. For instance, Pennsylvania received around 500 applications, and is only awarding licenses for no more than 25 growers and 50 dispensaries.
Putting together a winning application is not only the most critical part of the process, but it is also the genesis of establishing a business in the cannabis industry. In my experience writing, reviewing, and editing cannabis applications, I suggest you consider the following as they may be three keys to a winning application.
Begin With the End in Mind
Like a fine wine cellar or whiskey barrel, cannabis is best when aged in a cool, dark place. Heat can dry out essential oils and too much moisture can cause dangerous bacteria and mold to grow.
Cannabis and Heat
Organic matter thrives in temperatures between 77° and 86° F, so keep your product stored below this temperature to prevent mildew and other molds from growing. Additionally, extra heat can dry out the cannabinoids and terpenes that take months to develop. When the plant material and essential oils get too dry from extra heat, it can result in a harsh and unpleasant smoke. Furthermore, warm air facilitates more moisture than cool air, which leads us to our next consideration…
Cannabis and Humidity
Keep your cannabis stored in a controlled environment with the proper relative humidity (RH) ranges. Humidity control is key to keeping mildew and other mold impurities away from your cannabis. Generally, in order to keep cannabis product at its freshest, store product between 59% and 63% RH to maintain and enhance color, consistency, aroma, and flavor. Mold occurs when medicine is exposed to humidity of 65% and above.
Worried your product may already have mold? To check, break the product under a bright light and look for webbing similar to moldy bread. If mold is present, the product should be discarded