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The relationship between legal cannabis businesses and law enforcement is decidedly murky. It doesn’t help that, in the few years since the decriminalization of selling cannabis, law enforcement and its relationship with the public have been undergoing their own radical changes, which has helped add to the general state of disorder surrounding the industry.

Chris Eggers of CCSS explains in Chapter 9 of his book Securing Cannabis: A Comprehensive Guide To Increase Security, Reduce Costs, Reduce Liability, and Avoid Landmines that the relationship between law enforcement and the cannabis community “…has been tense historically on a broad range of topics, there are major trust issues on both sides, and there is a lot of room for improvement.” With this in mind, legal cannabis operators (LCOs) need to be realistic about what law enforcement (LE) is capable of and what their priorities are concerning their business.

Eggers describes these capabilities and priorities in the initial section of the chapter. Due to resource limitations, cannabis businesses are not a typical department’s priority, the training opportunities for properly dealing with LCOs are limited, and there is a general shortage of LE officers, exacerbating the prior two problems.

Local law enforcement is primarily responsible for policing the illegal cannabis market, ensuring legal sales and usage conform to existing laws, and performing license applications and other inspections to ensure LCOs comply with local and state regulations. On this last point, the book makes a point to note that LE officers often lack the proper training resources to assess the security systems of a cannabis facility effectively.

With this in mind, Eggers argues, the model should shift from having resource-strapped LE officers perform security assessments to using private party partnerships with licensed security experts. For example, these experts can provide a more comprehensive analysis of a security system, giving the LCO a prioritized list that tells them what they need to fix immediately and what can be done later once the resources are available.

The private partnership model is beneficial for both law enforcement and LCOs. Law enforcement can save on the resources needed to train and deploy officers. At the same time, LCOs get more competent and detailed assessments that will help them avoid penalties and create more effective security systems.

This public-private partnership also adds the benefit of incorporating technological solutions that are otherwise unavailable to local law enforcement. The use of drones as a security tool provides a cost-effective method of monitoring an area and providing live information to police while ensuring the privacy of the LCO being monitored.

The chapter ends with a comprehensive checklist of what challenges and responsibilities face LCOs and law enforcement in the immediate future. To gain access to this checklist, as well as every other piece of information you need to create an effective and compliant security system, we recommend checking out the full book. Securing Cannabis: A Comprehensive Guide To Increase Security, Reduce Costs, Reduce Liability, and Avoid Landmines is now available here!