Dealing with loss prevention has long been one of the most difficult tasks retailers of all sorts have to manage, and the emerging cannabis industry is no exception. Cannabis retail loss prevention is still largely in its infancy, though the industry is beginning to experience a period of rapid growth as dispensary owners across the country are realizing that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this regard. Today we’re going to look at a few tips that can hopefully help your dispensary quickly and cost-effectively boost its cannabis retail loss prevention efforts.
1) Take Turnover Seriously
Wages in the cannabis industry are relatively low, and the culture itself tends to attract a more transitory and part-time sort of employee than most other industries. As a result, internal theft by employees at dispensaries is often rife.
Paying better than average wages, and hiring full-time employees rather than part-timers is an excellent way to address cannabis retail loss prevention issues –modest profit-sharing agreements are another thing to potentially consider.
2) Upgrade Your Tech & Security Systems
Most dispensaries and cannabis retail spaces are not doing enough to utilize existing technology and security systems to boost their loss prevention efforts. Anything an owner can do that creates time, date, and attendance stamps on product as it moves throughout your facility will help to reduce loss.
Consider installing a vault, multiple safes, biometric locking mechanisms, key card systems that control entry and access to areas where theft may occur, software to assist with cash tracking – all of these can make a huge impact on your cannabis retail loss prevention efforts.
Weighing and prepackaging out the cannabis flower into labeled packets ready for scanning can often be a good idea as well. You can take a look at things like installing a generator to provide backup power, or hiring an armored car service if the amount of cash you regualry handle justifies it. There are even robotic payment kiosks available that can completely handle all of your cash receipts with 100% accuracy, taking the human element out of the equation completely both in terms of inaccuracy as well as dishonesty. If all this sounds expensive, it is – but it still will cost you far less than a serious robbery or theft would.
3) Religiously Perform Hard-Count Inventory Checks
The last and most important element to improving your cannabis retail loss prevention program is to not get lazy about doing your inventory counts. They should be full, physical hard-count inventory checks that actually match your paper inventory to tangible product, not soft counts that simply reconcile sales.
At a bare minimum, you should be doing this twice a day – before you open, and when you close. A more comprehensive inventory program would involve additional checks before and after every shift change to compare them against one another.
For more tips on how to successfully operate a cannabis dispensary, including more information on cannabis retail loss prevention, check out the other articles on the blog.