As Merritt BC-based ACMPR applicant StratCann prepares to receive it’s cultivation license from Health Canada ahead of participating in the legal recreational market, security is no small consideration.
With a level 12 dank vault, over 5000 feet of razor-wire topped fencing and no less than 147 video cameras, StratCann is tackling the problem of security head on. Leading the charge is StratCann’s Chief of Security, retired RCMP Staff Sergeant Gord Rockwell.
We sat down to talk to Gord recently about the difficulties he faced in setting up security operations for the new LP, how he thinks the future of legalization will change LP security requirements, and what it’s like to be tasked with protecting the plant that he was once employed to seek and destroy.
Our conversation is below.
To start, I’d love to know how you got into this business?
“Well, I got into policing back in the late 80’s. I had been moved by the “Just Say No” ads I was seeing on television and wanted to help make things safer, you know, for everybody. I didn’t want to see drugs hurt people anymore, so I enlisted.
“Over the years I watched people’s attitudes change, times changed, and I was promoted so I wasn’t spending that much time on the street anymore. It wasn’t the same feeling, so I retired early. I really like fly fishing, so that was my plan, I was just going to fish all day, every day. Something about catching those fish out of the stream brought me back to the early days, working the beat, catching the bad guys, you know?
“So anyway, every year me and a bunch of my old RCMP buddies get together for a kind of reunion, you know? We meet up at Duffy’s in Kamloops and chew the fat like old times.
“Then last year we get together and half of the guys there, no exaggeration, were all working for LPs as security professionals. All they could talk about was how great the work was and how fast the industry is growing. And it occurred to me, what they were doing, keeping all that marijuana safe and secure, off the streets, was exactly what I had set out to do when I became a police officer all those years ago. Only this was better because I wouldn’t need to find the marijuana—I would know exactly where it was at all times, and my job would simply to be to make sure that it stayed there, locked up and away from the streets.
“I made some phone calls the very next day, and the rest is history.”
Your vault looks more sophisticated than anything I’ve ever seen before, and I thought the vault classification system only went up thirteen? Can you tell us about your vault?
“Yeah good question. You’re right, the vault class system does only go up to eleven, that’s why I insisted on getting one higher, one above the maximum, you know? That’s level twelve.”
So what sets a level twelve vault apart from a level eleven?
“Well I don’t want to get too boring and technical here, so I’ll just say there there’s various numbers and tests and requirements and such that go into vault classification, so on all those basic metrics, our standards are higher than eleven, they’re twelve, or maybe even thirteen, you know? We don’t mess around here.”
Are there any other special security considerations taken here at StratCann that you feel set it apart from the herd?
“One-hundred percent. One of my pet projects over the past few years has been finding good homes for retired police dogs. You see where I’m going here? StratCann is situated on over 5 acres, so the perimeter is considerable. That’s why we have all this fencing right? But then there’s all that space between the fence and the building, and while video cameras are great for passive surveillance, they don’t have teeth you know? Most of these old dogs, they still have most of their teeth.
“So what we’re doing here is we’re converting that old barn in the rear into a kennel, and we’re going to bring in about 30 retired police dogs just to live out their days here in relative peace, lots of room to run around and play here, and then when there’s a security breach you’ve got an army of trained canine units ready to take down any intruders. It’s a win-win situation for us and the dogs. Why should human cops be the only ones benefiting from this new industry?”
What has surprised you most about your new career?
“Just how mellow things have been, I guess. I mean I’ve been busy overseeing the installation of all our security systems, and I understand that we’re not even allowed to grow any plants yet, but I still thought there’d be more action, you know?
How do you think think your job will change in the future?
“I guess I’m looking forward to when we’re up and running, and the vault is full of marijuana. I just want to feel young again, you know? I can’t wait for the first time some reefer-mad hooligans try to break in and steal the marijuana. It’s what I live for. Coming out of retirement has made me realize that.”
Featured image courtesy of Smithers 7.
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*This article is a satirical work. Nothing is true; all is permitted.