When people hear the word marijuana, they think of Colorado. As one of the first U.S. states to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis, Colorado is paving the way for the cannabis industry, with the city of Denver at its heart. Our mission here at Real Cloud Pros is to help medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries reach their full potential by providing turnkey technology solutions. What better way to understand the needs of this budding industry than by making a pilgrimage to the center of it all?
The RCP team’s first stop was Mount Flagstaff, which provides a majestic view of the Rocky Mountains. Then, as anyone in the cannabis industry should do, we took a trip down the Green Mile. The Green Mile in Denver, Colorado is a section of South Broadway known for its large concentration of dispensaries. We visited a handful of them, including Kaya, Native Roots, Sticky Buds, Green Dragon, and The Health Center. As part of the experience, we got to meet with some of the business owners of these dispensaries to get a feel for their culture, business, and retail operations, and got a behind-the-scenes look at the seed-to-sale process.
We did a deep dive with Kaya Cannabis executives to talk about their goals and challenges, in addition to their security and technology needs. Owning a dispensary involves a lot of different issues and requirements. Along with all the rules for protecting client data, there’s also the threat of cyber-attacks, like email “phishing” scams, ransomware attacks, interception of video surveillance, breaches, cannabis marketing data theft, or lost products.
Even beyond the obvious compliance, security, and financial concerns for their business, there’s still a sort of stigma surrounding the cannabis industry. Customers and patients may not want it to be publicly known that they’re purchasing cannabis products; a breach of that privacy could, in some cases, do reputational damage to their customer base. These problems can affect any dispensary business, but the particular vulnerabilities of getting into a new industry like cannabis (and one that does not have access to traditional banking services) mean that dispensary owners and employees must take proactive measures to effectively plan up front so they can run their business without disruption.
To help manage all these risks and compliance requirements, there are a growing number of technology companies that focus specifically on the cannabis industry. We got the chance to sit down with representatives from Helix TCS and BioTrackTHC to discuss the finite points of security and safety of running a dispensary. These conversations reinforced our philosophy that by developing an integrated strategy based on the three pillars of running an effective dispensary — Compliance, Security, and Technology — cannabis businesses will be in a much better position to reduce risk, mitigate the challenges of integrating their technology systems and data, and focus on growing their business.
One of my favorite takeaways from our trip to Denver is the passion these dispensary owners have for the industry and their businesses. People are passionate about the product and excited to talk about their technology needs. The cannabis industry has reached a tipping point, and continued exponential growth is ahead.
As various state regulations and compliance for licensed medical and recreational dispensaries become more complex, it’s more important than ever to help these businesses scale with integrated technology solutions and fully cloud managed support. Real Cloud Pros is here to help business owners navigate this complex vortex of compliance, security, and technology to run effectively and grow their business. Please visit our website for more information or to schedule a consultation!