cannabis security cannabis data cannabis information security

Got Data? You Might be Facing an Information Security Crisis

The emerging international cannabis industry faces various threats, including threats from cannabis opponents that want to see prohibition continue, and from armed robbers that want to steal cannabis and/or money.

One type of threat that may not be on everyone’s radar is the threat of information security breaches.

Information security threats can come in many forms, from rudimentary threats of people breaking into facilities to steal files, all the way to sophisticated operations that are based halfway around the world from their targets.

It only takes one information security breach to affect a lot of people and/or cost a tremendous amount of money. It is going to take the entire cannabis industry working together to help ensure that threats are mitigated.

Common Information Security Threat Targets

The bigger the cannabis industry gets, the more popular a target the industry’s data and information will become to bad actors.

How popular a target is depends on the type of cannabis entity and how valuable the information is that they have to bad actors.

An example would be a medical cannabis clinic. Clinics house a great deal of information, including medical information and personally identifiable information that can be used for identity theft purposes.

Cannabis dispensaries are another popular target for information security threats because they can also store a large amount of personal information. 

The same customer information that a dispensary stores in order to make the purchasing experience more convenient can unfortunately double as a convenient source of information for identity thieves.

Proprietary information is becoming an increasingly popular target for information security threats because of how much money is involved in the cannabis industry. Stolen ideas can be very lucrative for certain entities.

What Can Cannabis Companies Do?

Many things that a cannabis company can do to protect information are technology based. All computer systems need to have robust security features in place to prevent unauthorized system accesses. 

Any reputable IT company can assist with those endeavors.

However, effective information security strategies must also involve a heavy dose of guidance policies and ongoing training of individuals that are exposed to information security threats.

A cannabis company can have the best technological controls in place yet still experience information security breaches the second one employee clicks on a bad link in an email or doesn’t lock a door. 

Sound information security strategies involve high-tech and low-tech approaches.


  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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