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Tailored security solutions within the medicinal cannabis industry

architect drawing greenhouse for medicinal cannabis

At Matryx, we provide comprehensive security assessments for businesses in a broad range of industries, offering tailored real-world solutions.      

This multi-faceted approach is exemplified in the delivery of a complete suite of security recommendations to a business which engaged us to identify risks associated with operating a proposed greenhouse and purpose-built hub for growing and processing medicinal cannabis.

The review was undertaken to ensure security at the planned facility complied with the Office of Drug Control requirements.

Covering a broad sweep of risk analysis from burglary to drug offences, here’s what we found.

The challenge:  

While medicinal cannabis does not hold any significant street value unless in larger quantities – and the possibility of theft is low – the challenge is that drugs are nonetheless incredibly easy to conceal.

Additionally, given that the property is located in a remote section of road, any security recommendations had to be underpinned by a range of stringent work policies rigorously enforced by management.

What we did:

roadside view of open paddock

We analysed features of the surrounding streetscape, building entrances, access control and alarm systems, CCTV surveillance, and management of keys – along with profiling the suburb location and assessing the likelihood of burglary, assault, drug offences, property damage and motor vehicle damage.

We divided the proposed facility into high, medium and low security areas, according to the nature of operations carried out in each. A timetable of priorities to limit risks was also produced.

Following thorough investigation, we were also able to compile a risk analysis matrix on the likelihood of various threats eventuating, in accordance with the Australian and New Zealand Risk Management Standard.

The recommendations:

Recommendations covered a wide spectrum, from removing/pruning trees along the perimeter of the property to below 800mm to eliminate climbing points, to installation of motion detectors and CCTV surveillance in high security areas – right down to detailed operational protocols, which featured heavily.

Physical security systems however are just a part of the overall strategy for risk minimisation. 

They will need to be supported by appropriate policies and procedures that not only contribute to overall security but also reinforce a mindset of security within the workplace. 

Policies bring structure to workflow and this is particularly important in higher-security environments such as this.

We recommended that then organisation implement operational procedures including:   

  • Alarm response protocols and expectations of contracted service providers 
  • Alarm system fault identification, reporting, service frequency and service response times 
  • Post-alarm entry procedure for staff 
  • Staff induction process (relative to security) 
  • Appropriate use of CCTV 
  • Appropriate use of access credentials 
  • Staff business exit process (including access card and key return) 

Specifically with the high security areas, our recommendations entailed:  

  • Providing a record of all pedestrian, vehicle and product movements in and out of the area and include an irrefutable audit trail of these movements 
  • Strict access permissions including dual-custody security protocols to the vault so that no one individual can access the products storage vault – to be the most secure area of the facility. The vault would also feature an independent alarm zone
  • Lock-down zones that can be secured at times when the vault is unsecured and when large volumes of product is being moved between secure storage areas and dispatch 
  • Duress buttons in secure storage areas (vault) loading docks and dispatch areas 
  • An escort process for all visitors or staff whose role would not normally allow access to the secure area. 
  • A formal vetting process of staff prior to approval to work in the secure area. 

Our expectation is that if our recommendations are implemented, the overall security of the operation will be of a very good standard and certainly appropriate for the storage and handling of drugs of dependence.

To evaluate the security measures at your property, get in touch to book in a Security Risk Assessment.

Matryx is proud to acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the lands, and we pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

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