Cannabis Industrial Marketplace

Tim Sutton

Guidepost Solutions LLC
Senior Security Consultant

Session Title: Illinois Adult Use Cannabis Security

Professional Summary

Tim Sutton has more than 30 years experience in loss prevention, safety, and security with more than 20 of those years in management. He has worked in both operations and administrative capacities for some of the largest and most prestigious regional and international companies. His experience in retail, manufacturing, chemical, public and government housing, schools, and hospitals and their specific safety and security needs has helped build his unique perspective and skill set.

Tim has served as Director of Security for two medical cannabis organizations, responsible for any and all security concerns including the designing of electronic security systems and all physical security programs within 12 Medical Cannabis Dispensaries and 5 Medical Cannabis Cultivation Centers in IL, MD, and PA. Sutton’s experience within the fast-moving Medical Cannabis Industry goes back to April, 2013 when he wrote content including designing electronic security systems, SOPs and providing security content for the medical cannabis application process ultimately winning 2 cultivation and 3 dispensary permits in the highly competitive state of Illinois.

In addition to his proven track record of providing instrumental security controls and programming in his operational positions, his experience includes providing security consulting services to multiple medical cannabis clients across the United States including IL, FL, OH, MO, OK, AR, TX, AZ, CA, HI, MD, PA, NY, and ND.

Adding to his extensive security experience, Tim holds many esteemed certifications and positions on safety-related councils. He is board certified in Security Management (CPP®) through ASIS International and Healthcare Protection Administration (CHPA) through the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS). He sat on the ASIS International Healthcare Security Council and also served on the IAHSS Guidelines Council. He has served as either a working group or technical committee member in the development of ANSI security standards including: Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention; Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations – Requirements with Guidance; Conformity Assessment and Auditing Management Systems for Quality of Private Security Company Operations; Maturity Model for the Phased Implementation of a Quality Assurance Management System for Private Security Service Providers; Auditing Management Systems for Risk, Resilience, Security and Continuity Management with Guidance for Application; Risk Assessment; Investigations; and is currently a technical committee member for both the WVPI Active Assailant and Security Awareness Standard development.

Session Abstract

In addition to the early approval licenses to be awarded to current medical cannabis organizations, There will be up to 75 new dispensary licenses available May 2020, 40 processor licenses and 40 craft grower licenses available July 1, 2020. Wave 2 will bring up to 110 new dispensary license opportunities, 60 craft grower and 60 processor licenses December 2021. The rules for the required security will likely be very similar to the rules in place today for medical cannabis organizations. The licensing application will be competitive and scored just as the medical program was. Once rules are published they will list minimum requirements that must be met, and specifics of the security technology requirements.

Security systems such as cameras, electronic access control, and alarms are tools. A strong security management program based upon experience, best practices, and standards must be developed and implemented. Combined with the security systems as tools, the security management program will lead to a security solution. Utilizing a strong security management program with state of the art security systems will ensure your organization will be a beneficial addition to the community and its immediate neighbors.

Installing cameras, electronic access control, and alarms is a start. Your integrator can show you how to operate the systems they install, but that is not enough. How the systems are actually used is the differentiator. The applications will certainly require a Security Plan, much more than simple technology. We will explore security operations and procedures that are best practices actually used across the country today.