As the number of states in which marijuana is legally available to some extent continues to expand, so does the number of marijuana dispensaries legally operating in those jurisdictions. Whether it’s for medicinal or recreational purposes, cannabis dispensaries are a business, and just like any other business, they need to be concerned about the safety and security of their assets, operations, and employees. Given the desirability of their product, marijuana dispensaries face a heightened risk of theft and burglary attempts, along with the potential threat of gun violence. These cannabis businesses should carefully consider the merits of bulletproof windows and related protective products to operate with greater peace of mind.
The Rise of Legal Marijuana Dispensaries
The extent to which cannabis dispensaries can legally operate throughout the United States depends on the legal status of marijuana in each state. As you can imagine, this is a constantly shifting landscape of state laws that can be difficult to keep track of. As of July 2022, the status of marijuana in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia (Washington DC) can be described in the following categories (source):
- Fully Legal: This category includes states where both medicinal and recreational marijuana have been made legal. There are currently twenty states and the nation’s capital in this category, including AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, IL, ME, MA, MI, MT, NV, NJ, NM, NY, OR, RI, VT, VI, and WA.
- Fully Illegal: In this category are states in which neither medical nor recreational cannabis have been legalized, including ID, KS, NE, NC, SC, and WY. In Nebraska, however, no jail time will be imposed for possession of small amounts of the drug as it will be considered a civil infraction for first-time offenders. In North Carolina, medical marijuana is permitted for a narrow group of patients with debilitating medical conditions.
- Mixed (medical yes, recreational no): This is a complex category that includes eight states where medical cannabis is legal, but recreational possession and use is still entirely illegal, including AL, AR, FL, OK, PA, SD, UT, and WV; seven states where recreational use and possession are entirely illegal and the only form of medical cannabis allowed is CBD oil, including GA, IN, IA, KY, TN, TX, and WI; and ten states have implemented a medical marijuana law and removed jail time for possession of small amounts of the drug but fall short of full recreational legalization, including DE, HI, LA, MD, MN, MS, MO, NH, ND, and OH.
The above listings mean there are 45 states and the nation’s capital where some form of a cannabis dispensary may legally operate. The estimated number of dispensaries legally operating at the end of 2020 was just shy of 7,500 (source).
The Increased Criminal Threat Cannabis Dispensaries Face
While the number of marijuana dispensaries continues to expand rapidly, there is still a major hitch weighing heavily upon them, which is the legality of the drug in the eyes of the federal government. Marijuana is still considered entirely illegal under all federal laws. What this means for many dispensaries at the operational level is how many of them have trouble insuring their business. While most can get product liability insurance, armored transport insurance, and so on, one of the most important insurance policies of all, building/property insurance, remains elusive because very few insurance companies are willing to take it on. Without that kind of insurance, cannabis dispensaries are especially vulnerable to crime.
Any marijuana dispensary interested in addressing this heightened vulnerability to criminal activity would do well to seriously consider adding in a well-planned and designed layer of protection in the form of transparent bullet-resistant protective barriers, including bulletproof exterior windows and bulletproof interior transaction windows. The good news is that Creative Industries has the know-how and decades of experience manufacturing these products in both standard and custom specifications.
Let Creative Industries Help You Achieve Greater Peace of Mind
The overwhelming majority of armed robbery crimes perpetrated against businesses involve the use of handguns, such as a 9mm, a .357 magnum, or a .44 magnum. In other words, you don’t plan for the worst-case scenario, just the most likely scenario when it comes to potential gun violence. There are a total of eight different levels of protection provided by bulletproof glass. The thicker the glass, the larger the bullet (and gun) it can protect against. Levels 4–8 protect against bigger and bigger rifles. What makes the most sense for dispensaries’ bulletproof windows are levels 1, 2, or 3. Below is what each of those levels of bullet-resistant glass can protect against:
- Level 1: This glass will protect against at least three shots from a 9mm at a minimum velocity of 1,175 feet per second. This is a common choice for protection against small caliber handguns, including .22, .25, .38, and .380 in addition to the 9mm.
- Level 2: At this level, the glass will withstand at least three shots of .357 magnum soft points at a velocity of 1,250 feet per second.
- Level 3: This glass is designed to protect against a minimum of three shots of .44 magnum rounds at a velocity of 1,350 feet per second.
Creative Industries specializes in bullet-resistant glass and related products to provide greater safety and security at your business, including protecting your assets (products and money), your employees, and your operations without getting in the way of communications, interactions, and transactions. Below are the different product lines we make for clients across a wide range of industries:
- Bullet Resistant Windows: There are more than 15 different configurations of standard bulletproof windows to serve a wide range of applications while still facilitating interactions and transactions between employees and customers.
- Deal Trays: With more than 13 different deal tray products to choose from, providing protection when employees need to pass small items back and forth to complete transactions has never been safer.
- Drawers: In this product line we offer 9 styles of drawer products like the ones you’ve used at the drive-thru window of a bank. The employee extends the drawer so a customer can put things into it, then pulls the drawer in to complete the transaction, and extends the drawer again to give the customer anything they need to get back, such as a receipt or change. This is an important product line since a surprising number of dispensaries do offer drive-thru service.
- Pass Thrus: The 11 products in this line are larger than drawers, making them useful for when employees and customers need to pass packages of various sizes back and forth.
- Talk Thrus: There are 7 different kinds of talk thrus we can add to various dispensaries’ bulletproof windows to facilitate verbal communication between an employee and the customer being served.
Many clients worry about the aesthetic appearance of incorporating these kinds of protective products in their stores. Please keep in mind that we can custom-build any of our products to fit the aesthetic and interior design you want to achieve.
A Trusted Partner in Safety and Security: Creative Industries
Creative Industries has been helping our clients and their customers fulfill their safety and security needs with bullet-resistant glass and related products since 1970. We’ve also worked directly with architects and clients across nearly every industry. Our approach is to bring our deep expertise to the table in a collaborative framework based on mutual trust to keep everyone on the same page from beginning to end. Our goal with every project is to help the client meet their needs as affordably as possible. If it’s time for your cannabis dispensary business to get serious about protecting its assets, operations, and employees from the threat of gun violence, we warmly invite you to start the conversation now by getting in touch through the Contact Us page of our website or by calling us directly at 800-776-2068. We’re to help!