SecurityDNA Podcast Recap: Why securing a cannabis dispensary isn’t standard retail security procedure

Oct. 9, 2023

While the cannabis industry continues to expand into an economic powerhouse, more stores and dispensaries look to shore up their defenses. A heavily regulated and high-risk product alongside purchases made primarily in cash means that the average cannabis establishment needs to look beyond mainstream retail security solutions.

In this recent episode of Security DNA, Steve Lasky of discussed trends in the cannabis security, the critical importance of employee vetting and training, point of sale versus internal theft, and the projected timeline of cannabis as a nationwide industry with Managing Partner Tony Gallo and Senior Asset Protection Consultant Jeff Bartley of Sapphire Risk Advisory Group.

Tony Gallo: “Retail is tough. You need to make sure you have the right people who, in turn, serve as a reference for the other people who come on board. Communication with local law enforcement and first responders prior to the incident is also a key factor.”

Security consulting firm Sapphire Risk Advisory Group has served over 800 cultivation facilities, dispensaries, and retail stores across 36 U.S. states. Gallo, who entered the industry in 2013, as well as Bartley, who has over 27 years of asset protection under his belt, are mainstays of the cannabis security industry.

Learn about the importance of proactive employee investment to retail loss prevention, the expansion of the now-regulated industry into several states and the impact the piecemeal legalization of cannabis across the US has had on the evolution of cannabis security.

Find this month’s episode of Security DNA here.


  • How cannabis retailers and dispensaries can maintain strong proactive security measures while remaining inviting to customers.
  • The security differences between cannabis dispensaries and other high-risk establishments like jewelry stores.
  • Why dispensaries tend to adopt mainstream retail security standards.
  • The vital importance of background checks, staff training and company investment in employees to cannabis security.
  • How the slow migration of the cannabis industry from the West to the East Coast has affected security needs and risk assessments.