BEND, OR -- An Oregon cannabis security business is branching out to armored transport. Noah Stokes, owner of Portland-based CannaGuard Security, says the idea came from his work installing cameras and other tech at marijuana businesses. "Major concerns that people had – how do I transport it? How do I store it? Now that I’m licensed- OK, great I have a big empty building and I’m going to put plants, product, people and potentially cash in it, if they don’t have a bank account. What then?"
Most pot businesses don’t have bank accounts
, and Stokes says they often move money and product across the state, unprotected. His new fleet includes state-of-the-art technology from panic buttons to coded lock boxes, with armed guards and bulletproof glass. He tells KBND News, "They’re unassuming Ford transits. So, the intent is it doesn’t look like a big scary armored vehicle coming down the road. The general idea is that it isn’t drawing any attention at all." Those custom vehicles will soon travel to recreational pot businesses around the state and to the company's secure storage and distribution center in Portland.
Stokes has hired military veterans as drivers (pictured). "They just typically have better training, better experience; it’s more applicable. A lot of the qualities of people who have gone and served in our military are the exact qualities that we want. And, we also want to celebrate that; we’re able to pay these guys well and have a job that’s directly applicable to their training."
He says there are several layers of security, including not providing drivers with access codes for the cargo. "If someone were to say ‘open these lock boxes,’ the driver can’t. We want to take that ability out of the drivers’ hands so that someone doesn’t think, ‘I just need to take the driver out and take the keys, and I’m good.’ They happen to be highly skilled, trained, armed, licensed veterans that you don’t want to mess with. But, still, people are people and, in that scenario, we want to make this as uneasy of a target as possible."
, in Bend, plans to utilize the service. Stokes expects others in Central Oregon to follow as more recreational pot businesses are licensed.