• Massachusetts pot shops eye security with cash and marijuana on the line

    By: Ted Daniel


    Dozens of armed robberies and break-ins have occurred at pot shops in states like Colorado, California, Nevada and Washington, where a doctor’s note is not required for people 21 and older to buy the drug.

    Because marijuana remains illegal on the federal level, most banks refuse to work with pot shops, leaving them with a lot of cash on hand.

    Criminals are known to target dispensaries for cash and valuable product.

    Since Massachusetts voters approved the sale of marijuana for recreational use in November 2016, Boston 25 News has explored many facets of this booming industry.  Boston 25 News reporter Ted Daniel got a behind-the-scenes look at security measures, now being taken.

    Daniel visited Revolutionary Clinics in Somerville. Currently, the dispensary is only licensed to sell medical marijuana, but it has an application pending to also sell for recreational use.

    “We had to elevate our security to levels way beyond what you would see at CVS, way beyond what you would see at a jewelry store, way beyond what you would see at most banks frankly,” Revolutionary Clinics CEO Keith Cooper told Daniel.

    Cooper showed how customers are screened and how product is kept secure.

    Boston 25 News found many of the security measures in place at Revolutionary Clinics will be standard at adult use pot shops across Massachusetts.

    Those regulations are detailed in a 23-page document issued by the State’s Cannabis Control Commission.

    Here are a few of the requirements:

    -Dispensaries must card all customers and only state or federal issued id’s will be accepted

    -All marijuana has to be stored in a safe or vault

    -Dispensaries must trim trees and bushes where a person might conceal themselves outside

    -Maintain elaborate alarm and surveillance camera systems

    “I think we have the best security requirements,” said State Cannabis Commissioner Britte McBride. “When there is something, whether it's an actual incident or when there is suspicion of something going on that would be reported immediately and under no circumstances that it be longer than 24 hour before that is reported to local law enforcement inspections.”

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