Key Considerations in Selecting a Cash in Transit Carrier for Your Cannabis Business

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My journey in the cannabis industry started back in 2019 when I switched gears from executive leadership in the specialty bicycle retail world to become Vice President of Revenue for a small MSO in cannabis. It’s funny how industries can have unexpected similarities, like both being dominated by passionate players and catering to a wide range of customers.

But there are some big differences too. While one industry’s brick-and-mortar stores are struggling against online shopping, the other is booming. And while credit cards rule in one world, cash is king in the other.

In my capacity overseeing revenue generation and dispensary operations, I encountered unprecedented cash flow dynamics. Monthly transactions often exceeded the million-dollar mark, necessitating rigorous security measures. This pivotal role led me to engage with National Secure Transport (NST), the company I work for today, and who I ultimately entrusted with ensuring seamless cash handling and deposit processes at the dispensaries in my charge.

In my current role as VP of Revenue at National Secure Transport, my team and I regularly engage with cannabis operators to discuss our services, particularly the secure transport of cash. We understand the unique challenges these businesses face due to federal banking restrictions, which force them to rely on cash transactions, leaving them vulnerable to security risks. Therefore, selecting a reputable cash-in-transit (CIT) carrier becomes pivotal in safeguarding assets and maintaining operational integrity.

Here are key considerations to guide your choice of a CIT carrier:

  1. Number of Drivers: When considering a cash in transit (CIT) provider, it’s essential to ensure that they employ a dual-driver model per vehicle. This approach enhances security and accountability during transit by having two qualified individuals responsible for handling cash collections and deliveries. With a dual-driver system in place, there’s an additional layer of protection against internal theft or mishandling of funds. Moreover, having two drivers serves as a built-in check and balance system, minimizing the risk of errors or discrepancies.
  2. Technological Infrastructure: A critical aspect of modern CIT services is their technological infrastructure. It’s imperative to prioritize companies that leverage advanced technology to streamline operations and enhance security. Look for CIT providers that offer secure portals for transparent cash deposit tracking from pickup to verification and eventual account crediting. These portals should provide real-time visibility into the status of deposits, allowing for seamless monitoring and auditability. By opting for a CIT provider with robust technological capabilities, businesses can ensure efficient cash management while mitigating risks associated with manual processes.
  3. Currency Management Protocols: Effective currency management protocols are crucial for ensuring the secure handling of cash during transit. When assessing CIT providers, carefully evaluate their currency delivery and change order handling procedures. Favor solutions that prioritize secure initiation and transparent tracking through secure portals. This ensures that all currency transactions are conducted with utmost security and accountability, minimizing the risk of errors, discrepancies, or unauthorized access. Transparent tracking mechanisms also provide businesses with greater visibility and control over their cash flow, facilitating efficient reconciliation and audit processes.
  4. Incident History Assessment: Conducting a thorough assessment of a CIT provider’s incident history is essential for gauging their reliability and adherence to stringent security protocols. Before engaging their services, businesses should perform due diligence to review any reported incidents, such as seized funds, robberies, or security breaches. A reputable CIT provider will have a clean track record, demonstrating their commitment to maintaining the highest standards of security and professionalism. By scrutinizing incident history, businesses can make informed decisions and mitigate potential risks associated with unreliable or non-compliant CIT providers.
  5. Vehicle Discretion: The use of unmarked vehicles is a strategic consideration when selecting a CIT provider. Opting for services that employ unmarked vehicles helps minimize visibility and mitigate the risk of targeted criminal activity during transit. While branded vehicles may offer visibility, they also attract unwanted attention and increase the likelihood of becoming targets for theft or robbery. Unmarked vehicles, on the other hand, allow for discreet transportation of cash, reducing the risk of interception or unauthorized access. By prioritizing CIT providers that utilize unmarked vehicles, businesses can enhance the security and confidentiality of their cash transactions.
  6. Dedicated Account Management: The availability of dedicated account managers is instrumental in ensuring personalized support and prompt issue resolution when engaging CIT services. Prioritize providers that offer dedicated account managers, as they serve as primary points of contact for businesses, facilitating streamlined communication and assistance. Dedicated account managers can address inquiries, provide guidance on scheduling pickups, facilitate updates to account details, and assist with security planning. By having a designated contact person, businesses can access tailored support and expedited resolution of any issues or concerns that may arise, enhancing overall satisfaction and operational efficiency.
  7. Bundled Cash Services: Explore CIT providers that offer bundled services, such as ATM and Cashless ATM solutions, to streamline operations and reduce vendor complexity. By consolidating cash-related services under a single provider, businesses can benefit from greater convenience, cost-effectiveness, and operational efficiency. Bundled services enable businesses to manage their cash logistics more effectively, minimize administrative burden, and optimize resource allocation. Additionally, by partnering with a CIT provider that offers comprehensive cash services, businesses can access a broader range of solutions tailored to their specific needs, enhancing overall operational flexibility and resilience.

When it comes time to choose a cash in transit carrier or your cannabis business take your time and consider all of your options to determine if the company prioritizes the safety, security, and success of your operations.

Investing in a reputable and reliable CIT carrier is an essential step in mitigating risks, protecting your assets, and ensuring the seamless flow of cash within your business.

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