In this blog series, our Executive Director Ben Taylor highlights a selection of cybersecurity, physical security, health or natural threat related stories relevant to the cannabis industry.

Cybersecurity

Log4j Vulnerability: 8 Questions to Ask Your Vendors

If you suspect that Log4J may something that impacting one or more of your third-party vendors, but you aren’t sure where to start, Prevalent has developed a useful and free questionnaire to determine your organization’s third-party risk exposure to the Apache Log4j vulnerability. Follow these best practices to accelerate future incident response.

Top Five Insurances Cannabis Businesses Need in 2022

Eric Rahn, Managing Director for S2S Insurance Specialists provides this list for Cannabis Industry Journal. For Cyber Defense/Data Breach Insurance Eric says “Cyber fraud and data breaches are two of the greatest risks facing cannabis companies in 2022. With so much cash pouring into the space, cannabis businesses of all sizes are bulls-eye targets for cybercriminals. Even the smallest of cannabis businesses are at risk of data breaches because they are part of a larger interconnected network of seed to sale vendors. These types of crimes can have detrimental effects on your business in numerous ways. In the case of a data breach resulting in the disclosure of a third party’s private information, the third party could sue your business. The SEC could also find your company negligent in cyber fraud cases and impose significant fines.

By forgoing cyber defense & data breach insurance, your business will be solely responsible for expensive legal bills, significant revenue losses and hefty fines and penalties from regulators. Cyber defense & data breach insurance is a must-have coverage in 2022, and beyond, to protect your business from cybercrimes.”

Physical Security

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Armed-Robbery Investigation

On Thursday evening police converged on the Origins cannabis store in West Seattle to investigate a report the store was held up at gunpoint. Reports are that the store was robbed by three men in their 20s, who got away with some merchandise and two registers. The early description information is that the robbers were wearings masks with at least one suspect carrying what a bystander referred to as an “uzi”. 

Additional reported dispensary robbery events this week include:

As we continue to see an increase in robberies, an upcoming webinar from Loss Prevention Magazine may interest retailers. Leaders from the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) will be joined by top retailers as well as Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The event will occur on January 25 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM ET. You can register for the event here.

Natural Events

Supreme Court Blocks Biden Covid Vaccine Mandate for Businesses, Allows Healthcare Worker Rule

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its sweeping vaccine-or-test requirements for large private companies, but allowed a vaccine mandate for medical facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid payments to stand. The rulings came three days after the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency measure for businesses started to take effect. “Although Congress has indisputably given OSHA the power to regulate occupational dangers, it has not given that agency the power to regulate public health more broadly,” the court wrote in an unsigned opinion. Requiring the vaccination of 84 million Americans, selected simply because they work for employers with more than 100 employees, certainly falls in the latter category,” the court wrote.

In a statement about the decision, President Biden noted that “As a result of the Court’s decision, it is now up to States and individual employers to determine whether to make their workplaces as safe as possible for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers during this pandemic by requiring employees to take the simple and effective step of getting vaccinated.”

The Supreme Court’s decision that large companies do not have to force workers to get coronavirus shots or tests leaves employers facing a patchwork of clashing state policies over their role in protecting their workforces from the surging pandemic. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) President Brian Dodge stated after the Supreme Court announcement that, “We have raised concerns with OSHA and the Administration about the administrability of the mandate, including the current shortage of tests, but our primary focus at this stage is working with our members to ensure they have the information and tools they need to safely operate, manage their workforce, and meet the needs of their customers.” 

Winter Weather Threatens Much of Midwest, South, East Over MLK Weekend.

A major winter storm tracking into the Midwest right now will sweep across parts of the U.S. South and East through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend with a mess of potential snow, ice and wind. Named Winter Storm Izzy by The Weather Channel, this sprawling storm will produce major travel headaches from North Dakota down to northern Georgia and up to Maine. Izzy is currently producing snowfall in the Northern Plains and upper Midwest. With cold air much more widespread and an active jet stream plunging southward across the eastern two-thirds of the nation during the heart of winter, the stage is set for this winter storm to take a U-shaped track from the Northern Plains to New England this weekend into Monday.

The National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center released their Short Range Forecast which covers the expected impacts of Izzy.

Supply-chain crunch hits California marijuana companies

California marijuana companies – already facing labor shortages, high taxes and regulatory red tape – are now contending with supply-chain gridlock, forcing many to reassess and revamp procurement strategies as margins shrink. The constraints, which have gripped the global economy, are a combination of pandemic-fueled labor woes, shipping and product delivery delays as well as rising prices on everything from raw materials and equipment to fleets and utilities. This article from MJBizDaily highlights some of the impacts of supply chain disruptions to the cannabis industry, such as the fact that cannabis product packaging materials – such as paper, corrugate and plastics – increasing 25%-60% last year, suppliers have had to get creative to mitigate costs. The article also indicates that  Las Vegas-based Hara Supply, one of the world’s largest pre-roll distributors, has seen container shipping costs from India jump from $3,000 before the pandemic to $25,000 today, a whopping 733% increase.

Be sure to check back every Tuesday as we publish our Library Card Series where we highlight one of the resources available in our library!

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