Cannabis business security goes beyond adhering to common state regulations that call for video and audio surveillance.
Due to federal regulations, many cannabis businesses remain cash-only, which makes secure cash transportation another priority.
Tom Siciliano, president of Canna Security America, puts emphasis on compliance when it comes to security regulations for cannabis businesses. Canna Security America protects cannabis businesses, their clients and their cash by providing surveillance, security guards and cash transportation services.
Canna Security America worked on the rule-making committee in the Colorado Department of Revenue and helped to formulate the state’s cannabis business security regulations. The security company has quadrupled in size from $600,000 in revenue in 2014, to $800,000 in 2015, to $2.3 million in 2016, and now close to $3.8 million in revenue in 2017, Siciliano said.
Siciliano shared insight into focus areas for cannabis industry security standards.
Have the security regulations for Colorado to be a model for other states?
Our company was part of writing initial regulations in Colorado. Recently I visited Cathedral City Council in Palm Springs, CA to talk about a large project, a 489,000 square foot facility. They wanted to hear about the security aspect and how the business would impact their community.
Our priorities are making sure that we follow regulations, expand how we help dispensaries and cultivators to strengthen how they protect their assets, and promote the security aspect to let agencies know their communities are safe.
What’s important for industry security standards?
Our industry needs to strengthen our image. New companies have done foolish things in not taking care of compliance and not following regulations. I’m trying to create a company based upon integrity, efficiency, paying bills and taxes on time, and supporting the industry as a whole.
The goal is to help people in larger industries see that if you do it right, communities will accept you more easily.
How does CSA help businesses adhere to regulations?
We’re focused on adhering to the regulations we’re working with, and how we can provide banking and transportation most efficiently.
1. We provide consulting for people getting licenses, with 100 percent success.
2. We offer state-of-the-art security systems with cameras and CCTVs.
3. We provide highly trained guards.
4. We’re one of the few that can provide cash transportation nationally.
What should businesses look for in cash transportation services?
At trade shows, you see a lot of exhibitors talking to customers saying, “We will help you move your cash, bring your money to our attorney.” But it’s paramount to a company as large as ours to do it right, and to keep everyone’s money safe.
We’re servicing three banks in Colorado and work with local banking to move customers’ cash to the National Reserve. We use a 900 sq. ft. vault and a Cummins machine that records the serial number of every bill. The dispensary owner gets cash in their account, and the bank is satisfied.
What’s a typical day for a CSA guard?
We spend an enormous amount of time training our guards on how you carry yourself and your firearms. We see our guards as an arm to our client. Our guards are also representative to the customer – they interact with customers and support their needs on a daily basis.
We had a guard called because a customer fell. The patron had passed out and lost vital signs. Our employee performed chest compressions and saved the person’s life.
How can entrepreneurs anticipate their security needs?
Anyone getting started needs a business plan first for financing, and following state and municipality regulations, which includes security. We work with new business owners to help them understand the components of security.
Where do you put the security cameras – what kind of cameras? Can you remote access into a location? Are only certain people allowed in certain areas? When [officials] are awarding licenses in their community, they will look for a complete and comprehensive security plan.