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Recent Cyber Risks and Robberies in the Cannabis Community

By April 15, 2022March 11th, 2024Cannabis

The US is seeing an increase in cannabis cyber theft and retail store theft

Cannabis Blog - Let Us Weed Out the Cannabis Crime from Our Soil Text Beside Image of a Dispensary with Mosaic Logo

In order for weed to continue being available, we need to first make sure that our cannabis companies have safety and stability. Let’s add an “us” to that list above and weed out the cannabis crime that seems to keep spreading through our marijuana flowerbeds. Continue reading below for tips like ones that you can share with your employees if they encounter a robbery.


You have probably seen stories on the news lately about cannabis store robberies and theft. It seems that no matter what legalized state you are in, there has been an increase in marijuana retail crime. This holds particularly true for states like Washington and California.

According to Marijuana Moment, 2022 has already had over 50 robberies of cannabis businesses in Washington state, many of which have had armed assailants. In fact, a recent armed robbery happened not far from our home office, and sadly resulted in the death of an employee, Jordan Brown. (Our thoughts go out to World of Weed coworkers, friends, family, and other loved ones.)

And, sadly, recent crime does not stop at burglary. Cyber crime is on a dramatic rise across the world. For the last decade or so, each year has seen an increase. However, COVID, has increased those numbers to the extreme the past few years. 2022 looks like it is going to be significantly worse than 2021. (You can see some stats below.)

Our blog post here is going to be a little different than many you have probably already read. Instead of simply talking about the crime that is happening in the cannabis community, we are here to help provide some solutions and preventative measures to help keep you, your employees, your customers, and your investments safe. (Also, will you take our 1-question survey so that we can highlight loss and spread additional prevention tips? It will only take a minute (if that!).)


Crime Preventative Measures

Check out our blog post here for some things that you can do to help prevent cannabis crime. In addition to talking about security cameras and security alarms, that blog post also talks about how to keep your vehicle safe, things that criminals look for when they choose a victim, and steps that are good to take if you are a victim of a crime (like theft, burglary, robbery, vandalism, and riots). In there, we also have a section that talks about cannabis business insurance that helps with crime claims and the ballpark pricing for such coverage.


Protecting Retailers During Robberies

What precautions can you take in today’s world to help avoid robberies? How about the steps that your team can take to help keep them safe if they are at the store when a criminal strikes? Below are some safety precautions that you might want to share with your teammates to help keep them safe during a robbery. You can find more tips here.

1. Each person needs to try to remain as calm as possible. (Easier said than done, we know.)

2. Do not be resistant. Give the robber exactly what they ask for (nothing less and nothing more.) As you move to get the items, announce to them in short sentences what you are grabbing so that they do not get spooked by your movements.

3. The little people who talk, the better. Too many people making noise can cause chaos and result in the robber getting angry, confused, or spooked.

4. Do not try to physically take down the robber or keep them from leaving.

5. It is best not to stare for long periods of time or make direct eye-contact with a robber since it can cause panic or intimidation. Instead, try to catch small glimpses here and there. Be as casual as possible as you make mental notes of details like physical appearance and weapons used.

6. When the robber is leaving, make note of what direction they went so that you can tell the police. If you can get a make, model, and license plate of their car that is great, but safely observe from a distance.

7. Once the robber is gone and it is safe to do so, call the police and secure the area. Also write down all the details that you were gathering during the robbery so that you have as much information as possible when police get there.


Cybercrime Continues to Increase

Cyber attacks are happening more and more these days for both companies and individuals. What can you do to protect yourself and your business?

If someone is asking for personal items, whether it be sensitive information like your account number, or for a sensitive action to be made like a payment, contact them again to confirm their identity. If they emailed you, even from an email that you know, give them a call. If they called you, tell them you will call them back and call a secure number from a trusted resource.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get personal right back. Look for answers that help confirm their identity. Keeping track of bill due dates and requesting paper billing alongside paperless billing are additional security measures worth considering.

Recent Cyber Stats:

  • Malware infections have been on the rise for years—an estimated 12.4 million in 2009, 308.96 million in 2014, and 812.67 million in 2018.
  • 92% of malware is delivered via email.
  • In 2021, companies each spent an average of $2.4 million in defense of malware and web-based attacks.
  • COVID caused cybercrime to increase 600%.
  • You can find more stats here.


Do You Need to Review Your Cannabis Insurance Policies?

What we know:

  • Sometimes the inevitable happens no matter how many precautions we take.
  • Insurance exists to help make you whole again.
  • You cannot control another person’s actions.
  • People can be determined and will sometimes do anything if they want something bad enough.

When was the last time that you reviewed your insurance policies? We recommend that you talk to your insurance agent more than just one time a year at renewal. Companies tend to get store upgrades, new equipment, more cars, more employees, new products, etc. more than one time a year. Does that sound about right?

Keeping your agent up-do-date on your company will help ensure that you have the insurance you need to properly protect yourself incase something happens. Endorsements, coverage limits, state regulations, carrier requirements, etc.—it can all be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Ask us for help.


Why Do Marijuana Companies Get Cannabis Cyber Insurance?

Cyber crime is nothing new, but the coronavirus has spiked numbers a bit. And, as technology continues to evolve and become an even bigger part of the daily lives of most the population, cyber risk will keep evolving and increasing with it.

Is your cannabis business at risk? Some of our clients have reached out to us about how this coverage can help them. Call your Mosaic agent for more guidance in determining if this coverage is something that you might want to look into. For a general rule-of-thumb, there are two main reasons for needing cyber insurance coverage:

1. Your business computers store private/sensitive patient information. Computers can get a virus that can expose confidential information, so if you have personal files, you might want to investigate further. After all, if this type of information is leaked, your customers/patients/employees can sue your business for jeopardizing PII (personal identifiable information) and/or PHI (personal health information).

2. Your business could be faced with high public relations costs to help protect business’ reputation after a data breach. If you have the right insurance, you can help cushion these resulting costs. Having ample protection can help you have the necessary funds to get back on your feet and avoid bankruptcy.


Questions? Wondering What Your Next Steps Should Be? We Are Ready to Talk Whenever You Are!

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out! That is what we are here for. Our team of cannabis insurance agents are ready to assist you in any way that they can. Whether you are a cannabis retailer, grower, processor, wholesaler, or someone else in the cannabis industry, our team has most likely written insurance for a company like yours. Every one of our independent marijuana insurance agents knows various state regulations and laws that your cannabis company must adhere to in order to have a covered claim.

Our hours are Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM to 5 PM Pacific Standard Time. You can give us a call, send us an email, request a video conference, or text us! We also have that handy IM chat feature here on the website in the bottom right corner. Talk to you soon!

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