The ongoing push for legalized marijuana and the security implications for your current cannabis business

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For states that have already legalized the distribution of medical marijuana, each state has its own guidelines regarding who has access to the cannabis product, and each has clear standards for maintaining records that document the process and control throughout the chain of distribution.

Those states and others are now actively pursuing the legalization of recreational cannabis, though in many cases the regulations are still in the development stage.

Just his past Wednesday, February 1oth, for example, Gov. Ned Lamont (D), of Connecticut delivered a budget proposal that incorporates an arrangement to legalize marijuana. In any case, advocates are communicating concerns about the absence of particulars, particularly when it comes to the security aspects of distribution.

According to Gov. Lamont, he said his spending plan will include building up a “comprehensive framework for the cultivation, manufacture, sale, possession, use, and taxation of cannabis that prioritizes public health, public safety, and social justice.”

“The proposal builds on the significant work that the Legislature has done on adult-use cannabis in recent sessions and ensures alignment with the approaches pursued by regional states,” according to the summary.

During his budget speech, the governor stated that “our neighboring states are offering recreational marijuana on a legal and regulated basis,” and of course he is concerned that Connecticut is losing out on tax revenue that could be generated by following suit.

“Rather than surrender this market to out-of-staters, or worse, to the unregulated underground market, our budget provides for the legalization of recreational marijuana,” he said. “These additional revenues will go to distressed communities, which have been hardest hit by the war on drugs.”

Under the proposed plan regulators would be responsible for approving licenses for “cultivators, retailers, hybrid medical/adult-use retailers, microcultivators, product manufacturers, food and beverage manufacturers, product packagers and delivery services.” In the initial stage, licenses will be approved via a lottery system. Existing medical cannabis businesses could convert to recreational “for a substantial fee.”

A 2020 nationwide poll found that nearly two-thirds of voters (63.4 percent) either “strongly” or “somewhat” supported recreational legalization. With more than 1,500 bills being considered nationwide last year during the 2020 state and federal sessions, this is a trend that continues to gain traction.

Cannabis security concerns

Notwithstanding the rapidly changing environment for cannabis distribution, most existing or proposed legislative guidelines require actual on-site security presence, too. Usually, physical security needs to be in place at the retail level. An example of this is California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control’s Emergency Regulations: Section 5045.

“A retail licensee or microbusiness licensee that is engaged in retail sale shall hire and contract for security personnel to provide security services for the licensed retail premises. All security personnel hired or contracted for by the licensee shall comply with Chapters 11.4 and 11.5 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.”

What is more, this guideline (as indicated by the BCC) does not simply apply to working hours – it really requires the presence of trained professional security staff at any retail cannabis site, every minute of every day.

Not all organizations will require this degree of security. However if you are selling cannabis on your premises, you will positively need to investigate the requirements for your location.

If you are currently in the medical marijuana distribution arena and or are also gearing up to offer legalized cannabis access when it becomes available, First Choice Detective Agency is well positioned to offer you advice and guidance regarding your security needs. Do you have a marijuana security plan to protect your employees, property, licenses, and product? Our support starts with an assessment that ensures that your operations reflect best practices in terms of safety, security, and emergency management. Contact us today to learn more about FCDA’s experience and expertise in the cannabis industry.

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Find and prevent advanced attacks on your business.

The FCDA professionals’ primary duty is the protection of our clients and their property. Our personnel enforce company rules and regulations provided by the client. 

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