In this June 27, 2017, photo, two security guard workers at the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary owned by Jerred Kiloh in Los Angeles. Kiloh’s dispensary on a busy commercial strip is a target for robbers and it’s been hit twice, once by burglars who broke in through the roof. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Online training can fit any schedule or shift and builds confidence and efficient operations
Earlier this year, an individual in Oregon killed his father in an RV park, took his truck and during his escape drove over an elderly couple from Pensacola, Florida killing the husband. He then drove to a cannabis dispensary in North Bend Oregon and shot and killed a 47-year-old woman. The suspect was arrested the following day 2,000 miles away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
This incident demonstrated that problems may not originate because the location is a cannabis dispensary and that dispensaries are not immune from outside, sometimes unrelated problems.
When dealing with security issues at a dispensary, as complex as issues can be, the options are actually very few; either you train your security personnel, or you don’t, and either you have issues, or you don’t.
If you train your security personnel and you don’t have a problem, you’re good. Also, if you don’t train your security people and you don’t have a problem, you’re still good.
If you train your security people and you do have a problem, hopefully, the training will help to minimize the damage, but problems are still serious. However, if you don’t train your security personnel and there is an issue, that could be extremely serious – and costly. The lack of training to help prevent and mitigate an issue can create liability issues. Why didn’t you prepare? With high-quality training readily and cost-efficiently available through online sources, it’s practically negligent to not take advantage of the opportunities.
Security Training is a No-Brainer
A key to maintaining a problem-free organization is to make sure that your people are competent and know what they are doing. This is especially important in the marijuana business, where the product is high value and the customer base may be potentially problematic.
From a security standpoint, training is necessary across two very specific areas – security operations and firearms. In both cases, most states mandate a basic level of training, and in both cases, the mandated training is extraordinarily inadequate to meet the needs of most cannabis dispensaries.
With security operations, the state-required training to acquire a “security officer” license is minimal. State-mandated security officer training generally covers requirements to simply meet the state standards but usually doesn’t cover the skill set needed to be an effective security officer.
“Conflict resolution is an extremely important skill,” says Stephen Brooks a Criminal Investigator with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Alcoholic Beverage, Tobacco and Medical Marijuana. “Being able to not have to resort to force and being able to calm a hostile situation is probably the most important skill a dispensary security officer can have, but that is not taught in state-mandated classes.”
Understanding broad security concepts are also generally not taught to security officers. It is beneficial for line-level security personnel to not only understand what is expected of them but why they are doing what they do. Training is easily accessible. Time is money and in recent years there has been a significant increase in online and digital training. Quality online training can be completed when convenient and at a pace that works for officers in training.
Published: October 28, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News