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Security - Answers to the tough security questions

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Bri-Bet Security Solutions is a leading provider of security services for Maryland’s Medical Cannabis industry. With clients throughout the State of Maryland, Bri-Bet is quickly becoming the trusted provider of security services and is gearing up to expand into the entire Mid Atlantic region by the end of 2018.

Oftentimes, Bri-Bet’s CEO (Brian Kunkel) is asked to provide expert responses to questions that affect the Medical Cannabis industry. Below, are some of the questions and answers provided for medical cannabis business owners in Maryland:

  1. What governs security mandates for medical cannabis operations in Maryland?

The COMAR (Code of Maryland Regulations.) While the code is quite vague for physical security (Security Guards) mandates, it does a very good detailing electronic security mandates.

  1. Are medical cannabis facilities required to have Security Guards on site?

No. Security Guards are not mandated, however, the Medical Cannabis Commission highly recommends it and so does Bri-Bet Security.

  1. What should owners do to prepare for operations?

It should all begin with a Security and Threat Assessment. A thorough and detailed Security and Threat Assessment helps identify the cannabis facility’s strengths and weaknesses and detect potential threats. If done correctly, recommendations can be made to ensure the protection of employees and mitigate crimes against and other potential threats.

  1. How do crime statistics compare between the medical cannabis industry and other businesses in Maryland?

At this time, Maryland’s medical cannabis industry still being new, so it’s still too early to distinguish any trends. However, when additional medical cannabis businesses are established in Maryland, we should have data to analyze.

  1. How do you go about selecting a security company?

Do your research and ask direct questions. Security should not be an afterthought and I always advise to select your security provider with the same thoroughness as you would when selecting a school, doctor or babysitter for your child.

Price may be a factor, but it should not be the only factor. Look at the total security package a security provider is offering. Ask to see the security company’s management qualifications and experience. Oftentimes, the level of management’s experience will provide a good idea of the caliber of personnel they hire. Ask for resumes. Especially, for those security officers who are going to be working at your facility. Lastly, ask to meet the security officers prior to them being scheduled for your facility. Look at how the officers are dressed, communicate and present themselves. Your security officers may provide your facility’s first impression. As the old saying goes, “you only get one chance at a first impression”, so let’s make it professional and courteous.

  1. Is security needed at grow facilities?

Absolutely. The sheer footprint of grow facilities – compared to dispensaries – opens up significant additional security challenges such as location, neighbors, access, lighting, perimeter fencing and monitoring.

  1. Is there a ballpark cost for security?

No. One size does not fit all. I’m sure you’ve heard the axiom “you get what you pay for.” Well, that applies to the security industry as well. Ask yourself, “what is my business worth?” Next, ask, “what are my employees, facilities, commodities and equipment worth?” Security is NOT the place to be budget-tight.

  1. What are the biggest threats to the industry?

Organized criminal activity and inside employee corruption (theft).

  1. What surveillance equipment do you recommend?

I could rattle off dozens of fine products. However, the first step is to conduct a Security and Threat Assessment. Once this is completed and you know you’re your potential threats are, you can investigate all the products you will need or want. I recommend a security-conscious-design that provides effective surveillance-system capability with budget sensibility.

  1. Armed versus unarmed security recommendation?

This is one of the biggest questions I receive. I can only speak for Bri-Bet as we only pursue contracts where our security guards are armed. This is for their protection, protection of your people, your facilities and your assets. We have lost contracts in the past over this issue, but it remains our company policy. And that’s not going to change. Our employees are well-experienced and well-trained and I want them returning home to their families every day after work.

If you have any questions, please consider contacting Brian Kunkel, President & CEO, The Bri-Bet Group. He can contacted at [email protected] or by phone at (443) 278 - 4477, Ext. 401.

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