Israel: Investment in security for medical cannabis is on the rise

Last updated: 19 พ.ย. 2562  | 

PUBLISHED : 19  Nov  2019  - 14:00


Globally, a preference for medical cannabis on the market has increased over the last few years, even in places where generalized use and sale of cannabis has been legalized. This trend has continued as the more and more consumers recognize the merits of medical cannabis increases, especially when compared to unregulated crops.

However, adhering to regulations all the way down the line – from the grower to the consumer – also requires increased investment in security measures.

Regulated growers are forced to comply with strict standards on the farm and are required to pass rigorous quality and security reviews. There are also security concerns throughout the supply chain for both dispensaries and the consumer. In this chain, there are weak links which need to be addressed by the growers to prevent break-ins and robberies. All of this is reflected in their budget allocation, which needs to be commensurate with their desire to increase their market share – all the while growing their profit margins.
Unregulated and illicit growers, on the other hand, use the dark web to conduct their business, irrigate with unclean water (sometimes even sewer water) and use phosphoric fertilizers or fertilize using human excrement – all in order to increase profit and under the apprehension of getting arrested.

This gap in desirability has led to the counterfeiting of medical cannabis packaging and using it to sell contraband cannabis at a 20% mark up from its street value.

The concentration of the merchandise in farms, warehouses and other locations in the supply chain presents an attractive target for theft, which is sometimes even aided by workers and managers within the system.

The competition between the growers and others in the field leads to the temptation of not investing in development but rather in industrial espionage, such as using other companies’ research and development results to gain a leg up.


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In the course of our work, we have encountered an operative cell dispatched from an Eastern European country to steal a cannabis strain developed in Israel. The efforts to get hold of medical cannabis motivates many criminal organizations and individuals, and in some cases they have put in several days’ effort to dig a tunnel into a grower’s farm, or in another case, tried to rob a dispensary. The provision of advanced security measures and compliance with the General Security Procedure (GSP) guidelines have thankfully thwarted most of these attempts.As the field of medical cannabis grows and thrives, so do the various elements that try to join in. It’s a small wonder that within the burgeoning Israeli cannabis industry, many senior politicians and high-ranking ex-military personnel can be found. These figures are intended to facilitate the passage of legalization laws in Israel and to present an attractive profile towards exportation to the rest of the world.

But this sphere not only attracts the best and the brightest from the field of politics, military and police – it also attracts criminal elements. Since the road to success is not quick or easy, these elements try to find shortcuts, which in turn requires these companies to shore up their security apparatus. Personnel and product require constant vigilance via means such as a physical presence, intelligence gathering, background checks and cyber security.

The price of medical cannabis continues to rise and is currently situated somewhere between the price of silver and gold. Analysts estimate that as long as specific cannabis strains keep getting developed to treat different specific ailments, and more refined cannabinoid distillations are produced, the price of cannabis will continue to go up.

A result of dealing with such a valuable commodity is that security concerns need to be at the forefront of the entire process of development, production and sales of medical cannabis. The security measures being developed today will satisfy not only the requirements of preventing theft, espionage and unsanitary commerce, but will also contribute to enhancing the image of the industry and preserve regulation when it comes to providing the consumer with a better, safer product.


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