Reducing the Risk of Theft in Cannabis Dispensaries

    Mar 16 2021

    Topics: Retail - Cannabis

    Due to the industry you're in, your cannabis dispensary faces many types of risks, and you are particularly vulnerable to theft. This includes in-store theft like robberies and break-ins, as well as internal theft, in which employees take advantage of their knowledge of how the business operates and their access to cash to steal from the dispensary where they’re employed. 

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    Cannabis dispensaries must be proactive in providing adequate security and loss prevention protocols to protect their business, employees, and cash. In turn, this added security will also help improve profitability and provide a competitive edge.

    Preventing In-Store Theft

    Upgrading your security system may be expensive, but it’s worth the investment. Due to the cash-heavy nature of the cannabis industry, your dispensary is a target for robbery and theft. All your retail locations should have security cameras and alarms with 24/7 monitoring. 

    You will also help prevent robbery by investing in vaults and safes, as well as putting in place secure cash management procedures. Any cash on hand should be locked in a safe at the end of the day, and any cash over your cash drawer limit should be immediately placed in the safe throughout the day as well. An investment in a high-tech smart safe would be money well spent in your industry, considering it not only offers advanced security features but also integrates with cash management software to help you keep track of your cash at all times and enable you to gain cash insights that help you make more informed decisions.

    Cash management best practices, such as not counting cash in the open in front of customers, will also help reduce your risk of external theft. 

    Preventing Internal Theft

    It’s an unfortunate fact that internal theft is conducted by your own dispensary employees — staff members you trusted. Fortunately, there are proactive measures you may take to prevent internal theft from occurring. It all starts with your hiring processes and continues into training and your daily operations.

    During the hiring process, ensure you conduct background checks and verify references. Once you’ve hired trustworthy employees, cultivate a loyal staff by providing a living wage and benefits. Commit to building loyalty and trust with team-building activities, and treat your staff like family. The more your employees feel respected and appreciated, the less likely they are to steal.

    However, preventing internal theft also requires effective cash security protocols to eliminate temptation and reduce contact with cash. For example, establish a protocol where two employees (preferably one manager) must always be present when cash is being counted or reconciled at the end of the night. Unsupervised cash counts will put your money at risk. 

    An investment in cash management solutions, such as currency recyclers, cash counters, and currency sorters will also reduce the amount of contact your employees have with your cash, which eliminates many opportunities for theft when the devices do most of the cash-related work. 


    Andrea Lombardi

    Andrea Lombardi

    Andrea joined the CashTech team upon its inception in 2003. Learning the business from the ground up, she now utilizes her expertise in account management, planning, and negotiation while managing the daily operations of CashTech’s sales, marketing, and logistics departments. Andrea holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Western Ontario. She enjoys travelling and has a passion for personal fitness, including obtaining her kettlebell certification. Andrea lives in Toronto with her husband and two young sons.

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