“Digital Guard Force has given us the ability to go from having a static postcard at every location to having roving patrols across the city.” - Head of Security, Cannabis Company
Disclaimer: We protect the privacy of our clients and the information of our clients due to the high sensitivity of the type of services we provide. We do not provide client names or contacts, but all quotes and information are accurate.
Seed-to-sale facilities for one of the largest, vertically integrated cannabis companies in California. This includes centers for cultivation, manufacturing, warehouses and storefront retail.
Move from disparate security systems that lack centralized management and use multiple security guard companies to one streamlined, integrated guarding system to keep cannabis facilities safe and compliant.
Replacing in-person guarding with remote guarding, lowering risks and costs, heightening security (24/7 monitoring), providing advanced analytics on the cameras.
Loitering, break-ins, employee theft, trespassing, graffiti and dumpster diving.
Loss in sales, loss of product, damages to property when break-ins occurred.
In-person guard costing $37/hour, 40 hours per week.
DGF costs less than the guard’s hourly wage and is 24/7. More hours of security, less hourly wage amount.
When the head of security and IT at the cannabis company first came on board as a security consultant, growth was happening at a very rapid pace. Current security operations were meeting the strict state regulations for cannabis facilities, but the system itself was decentralized and lacked consistency and efficiency — an issue that became more pronounced as the business scaled.
Depending on the location of the site, and whether it was a warehouse or retail space, the approach to security operations varied. Different types of technologies were used for cameras and video monitoring, while four different security guard companies with varying levels of professionalism were used, with some guards armed and others unarmed.
While the business put what they believed to be a strong security system in place and met the state requirements, the head of security and IT knew it was time to invest in a comprehensive security program that was both cost-effective and accounted for the varying risk levels at different cannabis sites. The company recognized a need to have a more streamlined way to protect its 11 locations against common security issues such as loitering, break-ins, trespassing, graffiti and dumpster diving. Due to the nature of the facilities, heightened security with quick and clear communication was needed. After seeing the value that Digital Guard Force (DGF) brought to a leading real estate investment firm in San Francisco, the former security consultant knew this integrated approach to security was the optimal solution for the cannabis facilities.
Many security technology providers subscribe to the “rip and replace’’ model where they simply take everything out and put all new technology in. One of the reasons the head of security and IT appreciated DGF’s process is that they aim to use as much of the existing infrastructure to save capital expenditure, assessing and replacing faulty equipment as needed.
To start, DGF technology was implemented on a handful of existing sites that were deemed most in need of attention. With centralized control from a remote command center, DGF remote guards have the eyes in the sky to identify potential threats in real-time and notify an on-site guard or local law enforcement to resolve issues fast. In one case where a trespasser was on the roof of a facility, a remote guard spotted the individual in just a few seconds and dispatched a security officer immediately to the area, with the potential threat diffused in a matter of minutes.
From a compliance perspective, it’s known that anywhere there is cannabis product, there needs to be 24/7 video surveillance, with video footage stored and available for 90 days in California. While storing terabytes of data locally can become expensive with investments in new servers and their maintenance, cloud storage can become just as expensive for state-wide operations. Because DGF handles the 90-day video storage and can provide access to it when needed, the cannabis company was able to run its operations in a compliant manner, save on costs and allow its business to further scale.
Reduced a building owner’s risk of having a guard on-site (contracting/spreading COVID, altercations involving the guard).
Saving $37/hour (for the cost of the physical security guard they were able to eliminate), 24/7 remote guarding
Reimagined security using cameras, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and two-way communication. This helped the cannabis company avert 10 incidents per week.
Since retrofitting the first few sites with DGF technology, the cannabis company has expanded the use of remote guarding services to 11 properties across the state of California today. In fact, as the company continues to grow, they’ve incorporated DGF into their new build process as the preferred security vendor.
While this enhanced security program has helped stop and solve intrusions, employee theft and many safety issues on a weekly basis — beyond that of a traditional manned security guard force — it has also allowed the company to shift from having a static post guard at every location to roving guards that move between sites. Taking into account that a security guard in San Francisco makes about $40 per hour, this reduction in headcount saves the company anywhere between $18,000-$21,000 a month per location. These same cost savings month-over-month translate into significantly less expenses year-over-year.
By keeping security costs more reasonable, cannabis companies have more opportunities to scale and succeed in the face of the industry’s steep compliance costs and high taxes.