Unlocking the Secrets to Retail Success

Who’s allowed in the counting room? Are all your keys ready for the next shift? There are a lot of nagging questions when it comes to securing a retail business. 

As the second state in the nation to legalize adult-use cannabis, Washington has had plenty of time to refine its security regulations. Yet surprisingly, the state has no regulations around who controls important facility keys. 

Business owners are required to have surveillance cameras, track-and-trace systems for products, and of course identification badges for all employees and visitors — but the state offers no guidance on key control.

It’s one area where the forward-thinking entrepreneur will have an advantage. Tracking physical keys provides control over access and better accountability for those in charge of a company’s most important assets. 

As vulnerabilities become more apparent, solutions are emerging that can help ease the burden on business owners and provide accountability for their employees. 

Tim Purpura, vice president of global sales and marketing for Morse Watchmans said the primary concern for cannabis retail owners is compliance. Morse Watchmans has been providing security solutions since 1882. The company is now pioneering the evolution of key management for the cannabis sector. 

The next big issue for retailers is accountability. “Managing employee accountability, cash, and product supply chain are more challenges affecting profit,” said Purpura.

Automation, GPS, and other forms of tracking tech are a step forward. 

“Adding electronic key control and asset management lockers to a security plan protects assets and provides access control to only authorized employees so cannabis enterprises can achieve optimal security, compliance, and profitability,” Purpura said.

For larger facilities, key management is paramount. Electronic key control cabinets are one tech-forward option for monitoring access to storage rooms, grow areas, and especially cash rooms.

Purpura shared how their KeyWatcher Touch control cabinet acts as a whole-facility tracking device. 

“Our KeyAnywhere feature allows authorized users to return keys to any KeyWatcher Touch cabinet located on site,” Purpura said.

“This is convenient for larger facilities with multiple cabinets throughout the facility. The KeyFind feature shows users the location of a specific key and tells users who has it out, and when and where it is returned.”

Their system also allows users to set reminders for employees to return keys at the end of their shift, along with alarms for unreturned keys.

When non-compliance could mean huge fines or even prison time, automated systems offer considerable peace of mind. 

Tracking is streamlined with these systems, allowing owners to generate periodic or recurring audit reports. It’s another step in ensuring employee accountability to security directives.

These solutions are also available for transportation fleets. 

Regulations aside, no one wants to protect their business and freedom more than the business owner.

Staying ahead of regulations and creating systems for compliance and transparency will only lead to more efficient operations. Purpura said it best, “Operational efficiency is ‘key’ to profitability.”


  • Ebby Stone is a freelance writer specializing in cannabis, with a focus on the innovators and businesses shaping the industry.

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