In this blog series, our Executive Director Ben Taylor highlights a selection of cybersecurity, physical security, health or natural threat related stories from the past week.


Challenges in a Cannabis E-commerce Business

This post reviews some potential roadblocks for cannabis businesses in regards to e-commerce. Topics covered are the non-availability of banking services, stigmatization, emergence of new products, communication breakdowns, and we would argue most critically is cybersecurity. “This is a very critical issue that demands serious attention. Cyber-attacks have the capacity of inflicting serious damage to the entire business. It is thus crucial to take preventive steps for the same to avoid any kind of cyber issues. Few best practices to avert cyber-attacks can be very beneficial for your cannabis business.” Accroding to Cybercrime Magazine, 60% of small businesses fail within six months of a cyberattack. And while this article from Cannabis Industry Journal provides some good considerations to “Outsourcing Your Cannabis Delivery Service”, a massive component missing from the article is reviewing data security protocols with any third party vendor, especially one that is helping you expand e-commerce and thus open the potential for additional (and COSTLY!) data breaches. An upcoming webinar from the National Cannabis Industry Association will take a look at “How to develop a Risk Assessment for your Canna-Business” and would be valuable viewing for all.

Point-of-Sale systems are another potential vulnerable area for cannabis businesses. Based on this Cannabis POS Software Market Report “Cannabis company owner requires a solution that automates vital aspects of the business, much as a store in another industry might use retail POS tech. This involves safeguarding consumer information and aiding companies with changing state and federal regulatory regulations. The legal cannabis industry will continue to grow as more states legalize the drug. As a consequence, corporate processes, laws, and legislation must evolve as well.”

Physical Security

Man Shot While Attempting to Rob Marijuana Dispensary

According to Oklahoma City Police, one person was injured in an armed robbery at a local dispensary Tuesday afternoon. Officers were called to Gaia’s Favor dispensary near NW 23rd and Villa around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Officials say the a man came into the store armed with knives and the dispensary owner shot him after he brandished the weapons. Officers indicated to the media that the assailant “became extremely agitated and started breaking the display cases. He was out of control to the point where the store clerk and store owner who was in there felt threatened and had to protect themselves.” The shooting follows a May incident where a man was shot and killed by a security guard at another dispensary in the city. A man was shot after he was kicked out of Stability Cannabis Shop, then returned and pulled out a knife.

Thieves Make Off with Cannabis and Security Guard’s Gun in SF Robbery

Cannabis ISAO has previously reported on the organized robberies that are plaguing the San Francisco area leading to the leading brands such as Target and Walgreens closing stores or altering hours of operation. On Wednesday evening a security guard was rushed and disarmed before being led into the building. A roll-up door was then opened and the assailants loaded items into three waiting cars before speeding away. This highlights the importance of considering security trends that may start in other industries, but have the potential to shift towards the cannabis industry. We expect to see a similar shift in ransomware and other cyberattacks as the cannabis industry matures.

Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Active Shooter Preparedness Webinar Series

Given today’s ever-changing threat environment, preparing for and training employees to cope with active threats and workplace violence should be a key piece of an organization’s emergency action plan. CISA has multiple active shooter preparedness webinars coming up that would be valuable for any corporate security personnel. The 2-hour security webinar is meant to enhance awareness of, and response to, an active shooter incident. The following are the course objectives:

  • Discuss the elements of active shooter incident response planning with guidance from expert instructors.
  • Describe common behaviors, conditions, and situations associated with active shooter events.
  • Discuss how to recognize potential workplace violence indicators.
  • Provide information about best practices, communications protocols, and resources that will assist stakeholders to develop or enhance their emergency planning, preparedness, and response to active shooter incidents.

 Course Dates:

  • CISA Region 10- July 20
  • CISA Region 8- July 27
  • CISA Region 4- August 10
  • CISA Region 1- August 12
  • CISA Region 6- August 17
  • CISA Region 9- August 20

Natural Threats

Millions under tropical storm warnings and flash flood watches as Elsa moves up the East Coast

After battering much of the Southeast, Tropical Storm Elsa is moving north and predicted to impact all major cities and coastal areas of the Northeast. Early Friday morning, Elsa was about 5 miles east of Atlantic City, New Jersey and moving northeast. Elsa is bringing heavy rain, gusty winds and a tornado threat to the region. It will be near Boston in the afternoon and move into the Atlantic off Canada late Friday evening, CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett said. Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm related hazard. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. The next highest percentage of flood-related deaths is due to walking into or near flood waters. People underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in cars swept downstream. Many of these drownings are preventable. Health ISAC wants to remind members of the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” campaign which can serve as a helpful reminder to keep employees safe. As an additional safety measure, as organizations move into post-storm recovery mode, please review the following generator safety guide on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.


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