Dispensary Security in Alabama

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 8, 2022

Most businesses could benefit from some sort of security coverage. Security measures are essential for dispensaries, especially because cannabis is still illegal federally. If you’re running a dispensary in Alabama, here are a few companies that can help.

Best Dispensary Security Firms in Alabama

You can find plenty of security firms in Alabama, but as a dispensary, it’s important that you choose the right one to work with. Security firms that specialize in protecting dispensaries will be able to provide you with the best service. Here are a couple of firms in Alabama to consider.

Fast Guard Security Service

Fast Guard Security Service is available in several areas across the nation, including some in Alabama. The company is dedicated to providing the best service for dispensaries based on the unique challenges that these businesses face. Fast Guard believes that it’s crucial for your dispensary business to have visible security personnel present at all times. This fact is especially true for dispensaries that handle medical marijuana. 

You may be wondering what sets Fast Guard apart from other security companies. The truth is that not all security firms are equipped to protect dispensaries. Fast Guard has its guards go through rigorous training to prepare them for their assignments. The guards are first trained for the industry that the businesses they’re assigned to are in. Before dispatching guards to a location, Fast Guard also trains them for the facility that they will be guarding. All the Fast Guard staff have their CPR/AED/First Aid certifications. The additional training that they go through is supplementary to standard training and certifications.

Fast Guard also provides the flexibility that dispensaries need. The company works with each dispensary to create a customized security plan. This benefit can include expanded presence for critical operations such as supply deliveries or large bank deposits. When your dispensary faces fewer risks during regular day-to-day operations, Fast Guard can provide a reduced security presence. Either way, the company encourages dispensaries to have a physical security presence at all times. The Fast Guard guards can be armed or unarmed, depending on your dispensary’s needs. 

One of the things that Fast Guard prides itself on the most is the experience and professionalism of its staff. The security consultants on staff have unique backgrounds that make them especially qualified for security work. This includes experience in law enforcement, the military and other private security firms. Fast Guard has experience providing security services for Fortune 500 companies and high-profile celebrities in addition to dispensaries.


XPressGuards is a security guard firm that provides security for dispensaries in all 50 states. It can help dispensaries of any size, from small medical marijuana facilities to larger operations. You can hire a guard to be present at your dispensary 24/7 if needed. 

You can hire XPressGuards to handle just about any security needs at your dispensary, including security services just for special events. You can also hire security guards to be present at your dispensary during all open hours, for crucial deliveries or any other time that you need them. XPressGuards offers 24/7 emergency dispatch security guards. These security guards are trained specifically to de-escalate violent situations. They can also ensure that only legitimate customers enter your dispensary.

All the guards from XPressGuards are professionally trained and fully equipped to handle the needs of a dispensary. The guards can be either armed or unarmed, depending on your dispensary and the level of coverage that you need. The security guards that XPressGuards assigns to dispensaries come with decades of experience and professional knowledge. In addition to providing security services for dispensaries, XPressGuards has experience providing security for cruise ships, entertainers, business events, high schools and nursing homes.

What Should a Dispensary Security Service Do for You?

Hiring a security firm with security guards is different than installing your own security monitoring system. When you speak with a security firm, you should ask what services they provide for dispensaries. These are just some of the services that you may hear about: 

  • Monitoring customers who come in and out of your shop. This can include checking IDs at the door and ensuring that there aren’t too many people in the dispensary at the same time. Security guards will also monitor your customers for suspicious behavior while they are in or around your dispensary.
  • Ensuring that customers are not hanging around for too long. Security guards can make sure that your customers are only going in to get what they need and leaving as soon as they’re done. Letting the security guards handle this can help keep your employees safe and ensure that they can help the customers who need assistance.
  • Monitoring employees to ensure that they are not stealing from the dispensary. Your security guards will be there to ensure the employees’ safety but also to ensure that your business is not being taken advantage of. 
  • Knowing the safety requirements for dispensaries and making sure that your dispensary is following the latest cannabis laws and regulations
  • Monitoring your business when you are receiving new inventory to ensure that the products are safely transported and stored inside the dispensary without interference. 
  • Ensuring that your employees are monitored and protected when handling inventory and cash. Security guards can escort your employees to their vehicle if they are carrying cash deposits or other important items.
  • Installing and managing security surveillance systems to provide an additional layer of protection and monitoring for your dispensary.
  • Assisting your staff in training situations so they know what to do in the event of a robbery or theft. 
  • Providing a physical presence to deter would-be thieves from scoping out your dispensary.
  • Working with your dispensary to identify the level of monitoring you need and when you need it the most.
  • Monitoring the needs of your dispensary and making adjustments as needed. Your security professionals should be looking for ways to improve their service. This could mean noticing the times of day where you have the most customers and adding more security if necessary. 
  • Reviewing security footage as needed. Your security team might do this on a regular basis to make sure they haven’t missed anything. They may also check security footage when a theft has occurred to try to identify the perpetrators. 
  • Working with law enforcement agencies when needed. Your security team is trained to identify and handle dangerous persons within the dispensary. If a crime occurs, they can work with the police to identify suspects and monitor a situation if needed. 
  • Keeping an eye on your business when it is closed and responding if someone attempts to break in. Most security firms will install an alarm system that will let them know if your business is broken into.
  • Providing you with armed or unarmed guards.
  • Providing better peace of mind for your customers and your community as a whole. This can help community members accept your cannabis business’s presence and make customers feel safe visiting your dispensary.
  • Unarmed guards can go undercover in plain clothes to keep a closer eye on people inside the business. 

When Do You Need Dispensary Security?

You might be wondering when or why your dispensary might need security personnel. It’s true that your dispensary might not need round-the-clock personnel. But even if that’s the case, it can surely benefit from security during times of heightened risk. 

  • Marijuana — whether it’s medical or recreational — is a valuable product. This fact can make dispensaries at a higher risk of theft and robberies, especially because marijuana is still an illegal product federally. 
  • Cannabis has a high value, but even better for thieves, it’s a low-profile item. This means that it is small enough that it can easily be concealed in a pocket, purse or other item. The trained eye of a security guard will likely be better able to see the signs of someone trying to conceal such a small item.
  • Having dispensary security guards can help free up your staff’s time. Security guards can check identification at the door and deny access to people who should not be in the dispensary. 
  • Lines can get long at dispensaries. Your staff will likely work one-on-one with customers to help them get the appropriate products based on their needs. By having a security guard monitoring access, you can reduce the number of people waiting to checkout at one time. Customers may have to wait outside to get inside the shop, but it will at least ease the minds of your staff so they don’t feel like they need to rush.
  • Security guards can keep an eye on customers after they enter the business. They may monitor customers for suspicious activity and step in if something is amiss.
  • By having your security guard limit the number of customers in the store at one time, you can reduce the risk of theft. Your security guards will only allow in the amount of customers that they have deemed to be safe. They’ll want to be able to monitor all the guests to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. If there are too many customers inside at one time, it can become difficult to monitor customers to ensure that theft is not occurring. 
  • Security can be especially important for dispensaries that mainly accept cash. Some banks do not accept money from the sale of marijuana, and that can limit the options a dispensary has. The amount of cash that dispensaries might have at any time can also pose a heightened security risk. 
  • Traditional security companies may not be able to work with dispensaries. This means that you may not be able to use popular security monitoring services such as ADT for your cannabis business. 
  • Cannabis security firms can also help you stay on top of the latest laws and regulations that impact your business. Your dispensary security guard will ensure that your business is compliant with the safety rules and regulations for your business. They are also trained to act in an appropriate manner when your business faces security issues. 
  • Unfortunately, since dispensaries carry such valuable products, it means that dispensary employees may be more at risk of violence during a theft or robbery. Having a physical security presence can dissuade would-be burglars from targeting your business. Security guards can also protect your business and your employees if a burglar tries to rob your dispensary.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is cannabis legal in Alabama?


Medical cannabis was approved and signed into law in Alabama in 2021. Adults and minors with some medical conditions can use cannabis legally under a doctor’s guidance. Doctors must have a current medical license to practice in Alabama, and they must have passed an exam on medical marijuana to recommend it to patients. Some qualifying medical conditions include Crohn’s disease, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and terminal illnesses. Cannabis is not legal for recreational use in Alabama.


How do I obtain cannabis legally in Alabama?


To obtain cannabis legally in Alabama, you must first visit a doctor. The doctor has to verify that you have a medical condition that qualifies you for the use of medical marijuana. You may have had to already try conventional medical treatments before you can get approved for medical marijuana. With your doctor’s recommendation and proof of residency, you can apply for a medical marijuana card. If you’re approved, your information will be entered into a statewide registry system. Once this happens, you’ll be able to visit a licensed dispensary and purchase the amount that you were prescribed by your doctor.