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The Importance of Cannabis Security Vaults

Why would you even want a vault in the first place?

Sure – we can all agree that it is prudent to protect hundreds of thousands of dollars in cannabis and cash in a vault, right? But why is this so critical?

Modular vaultImagine how busy your day is now trying to run your business. Now imagine your day if a burglar entered your business, stole thousands of dollars in cash and pounds of your finest cannabis strains. Now what?

Well, you are soon on the phone with the insurance company (if you have insurance) making a large sum theft claim. While you are waiting for your claim to be hopefully resolved, your employees and other expenses are demanding to be paid.

Some of your employees may quit because they may feel unsafe. Then there are the repairs and days that your business is down to recover. Hopefully your cash flow will allow you to continue in your business — hopefully.

So, back to protecting hundreds of thousands of dollars. Do you know any other industry that has that much cash and product on site? Think about it for a second. The answer is nobody.

Even pawn shops, jewelers and banks move cash out of their locations as quickly as possible. This makes cannabis shops the new “It Girl” for thieves all over the country. So congratulations; you are now the hottest item for thieves nationwide. You are both overexposed and under protected. Thieves are now casing cannabis stores for these very reasons.

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about vaults. You may be asking yourself the following:

  • How can I store all my cannabis and cash items if there is no space in my UL rated safe?
  • How will my cannabis survive the dangers of burglars at night?
  • If there is a dangerous situation at my place of business, where can my employees and I stay safe?

Each question begs the same solution – U.L. listed Concrete Modular Vault Room and Door. Now the question is, which UL rating is the right solution for your business?

Vaults protect contents against theft, bullets, unauthorized use, fire, natural disasters, and other threats. Unlike safes, vaults are an integral part of the building within which they are built, using armored walls and a tightly fashioned door closed with a complex lock.

The most important reason for a vault is if you require a security method that is immobile and all-but impenetrable. A vault provides an indispensable level of security and may be your last line of defense against attacks or unforeseen catastrophes as floods, fires, and earthquakes.

There is no such thing as a standard vault. Vaults are designed for specific needs of the business owner. There are four Underwriters Laboratories or UL rated classes of vaults. UL is the one of the most recognized security standards worldwide and highly recommended for the Cannabis Industry.

Underwriters Laboratories has been testing and rating products for more than 100 years, and evaluates nearly 20,000 products annually. The UL rating is an indicator of product quality and security.

The UL rating is an indicator of product quality and security.There are four levels of UL rated vaults but only the top 3 qualify for the Cannabis Industry. Modular vaults are constructed of panels. Each panel is made with a metal pan or frame filled with a special proprietary concrete mixture. Normal construction grade concrete strength falls between 2,800 and 3,200 pounds per square inch (PSI). UL rated vault proprietary mixes can reach up to an over 40,000 PSI – 13 times the strength of regular concrete.

Below are vault guidelines per UL Vault Class:

Class Asset Level Wall Thickness Cost Per Square Foot* Minutes of Attack**
1 $3 Million 4’’ $200 – $500* 30 Minutes**
2 $6 Million 6’’ $800 – $1,000* 60 Minutes**
3 $12 Million 10’’ – 28’’ $1,600 – $2,000* 120 Minutes**

*Varies upon the location and install needed.

** The minutes of attack are based upon two UL professional attacking the vault panels in a laboratory setting.  The timer only ticks when their tools touch the vault. If UL professionals rest or stop to think, the timer stops.  Therefore, in actual real world attacks, criminals take significantly longer to penetrate vault walls.

Vault DoorIt is important the security level of your vault door matches the class of vault you are building. You should never install a Class 1 level vault door on a Class 3 level vault structure.

Protect your business investment with a UL rated vault. Don’t be severely under protected with a cinder block vault, cages, dry wall or regular concrete wall. Avoid the mess of a burglary and gain peace of mind with a UL vault investment.

Be safe and be profitable

I want to thank security vault expert David Randall for helping me write this article. David is the Senior Business Development Executive for Rolland Safe & Lock ( with over 21 years in the Loss Prevention and Physical Security Industry. He has consulted with hundreds of Pawn Shops, Jewelers, Banks and Cannabis Entrepreneurs in protecting tens of millions of dollars in assets.

David Randall currently consults and designs vaults for some of the largest jewelry businesses in North America. Contact him at [email protected].

Tony GalloTony Gallo

Tony Gallo

Tony Gallo is the Managing Partner for Sapphire Risk Advisory Group with over 30 years in the Loss Prevention, Audit, Safety, and Risk/Emergency Management fields. He is a published author on cannabis security and has spoken at numerous cannabis business conferences across the country. Tony is considered one of the leading authorities on cannabis security programs.

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