Security at marijuana dispensaries is paramount, and man’s best friend is helping keep people honest at one local dispensary.
Many marijuana businesses already have 24-hour armed security, but K-9’s can do something no human can do. They can sniff out pot making its way out of the doors with dishonest employees.
Three-year-old German Shepherd, Nero, works behind the scenes catching employees with sticky fingers. Nero is an invaluable member of the security team at Reef Dispensary.
Customers are not likely to see Nero.
“During the day, during any break when people are going to go out for lunch or home for the day the dog comes out, and the people stand in line and the dog searches everybody,” said Guy Joslin, K-9 Program Manager, Tryke Security.
Joslin is Nero’s handler. He’s trained the K-9 to detect pot products during a strip search inside a facility where everything smells like marijuana.
“We just change his thresholds for odor,” said Joslin. “In other words, the ambient odor that people have on them, we imitate that in our training and the dog does not get rewarded for it.”
“You can put a chunk of beef in there; he doesn’t care about it,” said Joslin.
During a demonstration, Nero searches a worker, and when he makes a find, the K-9 alerts Joslin by sitting down.
“We immediately reward the dog when he finds an object that is giving off odor,” Joslin said.
His reward is his favorite toy, which is a tennis ball.
Nero joined the security team in May 2016 after three weeks of training. He has already proven to be effective.
“He stopped some theft,” said Joslin. “Nero, as far as I know, is the very first dog in the marijuana industry to do this kind of work.”