Security Lessons for Cannabis Companies-ASIS Seminar

Recently we attended an American Society for Industrial Security seminar entitled, “Guarding the New Green: Security Lessons for Cannabis Companies in Emerging Markets.” It was both informative and well done.

The presenter, Glenn Hardy, CPP, is the Chief Growth Officer for Xiphos Corporation and Xiphos Security. First let us say, kudos to Glenn since even though his presentation offered security lessons primarily for the northern California area, we believe his lessons may be indicative of future criminal activity aimed at cannabis facilities around the country.


Expert Observations on Cannabis Facility Security

Some of the key takeaways were:

  • Cannabis facilities in northern California have been experiencing crimes such as breaking and entering where the perpetrators are equipped with military-style weapons.
  • Cannabis facility surveillance cameras are detecting an increase of suspicious activities involving loitering, a method used by criminals to conduct active/passive surveillance.
  • Criminal groups use multiple members to conduct surveillance to best determine ways to access a facility as well as the best ways to exit or flee properties after a crime.
  • Cannabis facilities and their employees are experiencing an increase in assaults, which have occurred at various times of the day, and not just at night.
  • Perpetrators are using heavy cutting tools to cut through fences and metal walls.
  • When breaching or surveillance tactics prove successful, criminal groups are using the tactics at other locations.
  • The number of “brute force” incidents is on the rise.
  • Cannabis facilities are now replacing bollards with the “Jersey Barricade,” which is used for worker safety during highway construction projects.


Security Solutions for Cannabis Facilities

There are some ways that you can combat these types of perpetrators and criminal activities. It won’t be easy, but the following are a few good suggestions.

  • Technical security measures, such as surveillance cameras, need to be maintained with software updates. If necessary, add more cameras and make sure that there is 24/7 monitoring.
  • Cannabis security managers need to work together and share intelligence information.
  • Just as important, information regarding criminal activity needs to be shared with law enforcement.


One of the most critical components necessary to secure a cannabis facility and its employees is what is known as “operational security,” also called OPSEC. With OPSEC owners have a process that focuses on reducing or eliminating a criminal organization’s ability to obtain information about the vulnerabilities of a facility or employees.

A successful OPSEC program involves both internal and external facets along with training. When properly put in place, the program can significantly reduce the chance of your facility or employees being targeted.


For more information about security lessons and securing your cannabis enterprise, visit our website, contact us, or call us at 248-783-7190.