Anderson Porter Design has recently launched a podcast, “Cannabis is a Good Neighbor”, have you had the chance to listen? The first episode focuses on security in the cannabis space and its complexities. Security takes on many different meanings in the cannabis space, but the end goal is always the community’s safety. The conversation gives excellent insight into what security means in the cannabis space with expert knowledge from Andy Klien of American Alarm. What is uniquely insightful is that Andy grew up near a cannabis cultivation facility and has experienced firsthand that cannabis cultivation facilities do not wreak havoc on communities like some people may assume or believe. Andy brings an industry expert perspective and a community member perspective, understanding concerns from many different angles. We have rounded up key takeaways from this discussion below. Listen to the full podcast here or read the transcript below!

Key Takeaways:

  • When a cannabis entity engages with a community, there are state regulations that ensure that the facility is going to be safe – there is a misconception that there will be an increase in drug deals in parking lots – that is not the case.
  • The cannabis entities appear in front of planning boards, chiefs of police, and fire departments. Law enforcement plays a prominent role in the planning process. Police chiefs will confirm that the project will follow regulations and then give the operation approval – they know that the regulations are thorough. By following them, the facility will be safe.
  • Having a police chief or a law enforcement office may come in handy when presenting in front of a council or board of select in a community where pushback is anticipated.
  • The cannabis industry is much stricter with security requirements than other industries, specifically when it comes to surveillance footage. For example, the cannabis industry requires by law that an operation must maintain a minimum of 90 days, as opposed to other industry’s that have no recording retention requirements.
  • There is a diversity of groups represented in the cannabis industry – security has a different meaning to people depending on their background. For example, bar and restaurant owners have a unique understanding of precautions and concerns when it comes to security. They understand that kids may try to get in with fake identification, and they have figured out how to combat that – this can be applied in the cannabis space as identification is required to purchase.
  • Currently states regulate the cannabis industry. It could change if it becomes regulated at a federal level because the DEA has its own standards for controlled substances, and manufacturing facilities. If this is implemented, some cannabis facilities may need to make future improvements.
  • “Whether you’re a municipal planning board member, a neighbor thinking about going to a planning meeting, or an entity who has already experienced these concerns – I think this level of attention, detail, and knowledge that exists within the industry ought to put the public really at ease.”
  • Police chiefs who have dealt with cannabis see the industry objectively and the history of facilities in their jurisdiction. They are aware of the little trouble, if any, these facilities cause.
  • Safety concerns and security concerns go hand in hand – an example of this is traffic.
  • Some people are upset, and will continue to be against cannabis. We can not change their minds but we can ensure that cannabis facilities meet all laws and codes.
  • Cannabis retail supply additional security to the neighborhood due to the security regulation requirements. They place cameras both in the building and around the building, they add lighting, and importantly add jobs. It will bolster businesses around them through additional traffic and to the town through taxes.



Cannabis is a Good Neighbor – Security Transcript:


Below is a transcript of the podcast episode, which you can listen to in full here, edited and trimmed for clarity and brevity. 

BRIAN ANDERSON: Hello, this is Brian Anderson. Welcome to Cannabis is a Good Neighbor, the first in our podcast series. It has been a long time in the works, probably at least two and a half years with us talking about this, originally starting out as a blog format and is now a multi-series podcast interviewing our business partners working in cannabis throughout the United States, and coming to you from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Anderson Porter Design is just really happy to be having this conversation because we have found there is a lot of stigmas out there, a lot of myths that can be broken down, and specifically the stigma that people have about what happens when cannabis comes to their neighborhood.   

I am going to introduce our first guest Andrew Klien of American Alarm, and we have been doing a lot of work together in the security space. So, our first theme here at this podcast is how security lends to the notion of cannabis is a good neighbor, how does cannabis become a good neighbor, why and what is it that security can really add as a facility gets designed and is introduced to the neighborhood can really bring. Tell us about your background. How did you get involved?   

ANDREW KLEIN: So, Brian, I joined American Alarms team around 5 and half years ago when cannabis in Massachusetts was just starting to get its feet, still a department of public health regulating the market, still medical only. We ended up getting into the cannabis industry relatively early on. Back when it first started happening, big national companies weren’t really touching cannabis projects. They did not want to put their federal work at risk, which I guess now they’ll do it, the money is green enough now – that is beside the point. The regional companies, like American Alarm, are used to working in regulated industries like banking and the department of defense, etc. So, we ended up being the perfect choice for a lot of folks joining this budding industry – and I know everyone is sick and tired of that cliché.   

B:  So, tell me more about American Alarms? What is the company’s position? Was it a hard sell to get them involved in the cannabis industry? Did your existing customers have issues? How was it from an internal perspective?  

A:  So, I was not with the company when we very first started, but I have watched over the five and a half year a genesis, it wasn’t a very hard sell as long as it is a paying customer, and it is legal in the commonwealth of MA. These tend to be great customers, great people to work with. I think that there has always been a recognition that this is a valuable customer you want to take care of. As far as what we are doing in the industry, we are taking a lot of these projects from soup to nuts – from permitting process with going to town meetings, board meetings, planning zones, meeting with police chiefs. We don’t see as much as we do in 2021 – and it’s not because of covid, there is a recognition across the commonwealth who are looking at the cannabis industry objectively that these folks are good neighbors, that these are safe facilities that are going to pay any tax and fees for any potential impact on the community. It makes sense, especially in towns and cities looking to broaden their tax space. We will design the camera system, the electronic control, electronic door locks, burglar alarm. One thing we do that our competition does not always is fire alarms, which is always fun having been a firefighter myself, I have a particular passion.   

B: I did not know this?  

A: You did not know this? All this time? We need to hang out more. So, we will go in and design a system, monitor, do engineering work, design work, consulting work on the security side on the consulting side. We have a very narrow “we are security system experts” broader security experts do HR and threat analysis and other parts of security consulting that we don’t do. We know what we are good at – and we are really good at it, so we stick to what we know.   

B: So, you touched on something really interesting to this conversation, how in the early days when you joined five years ago how you appeared in front of a lot more planning boards, police, maybe fire marshal because of your background. I have noticed the same thing. The commonwealth of Massachusetts passed adult use in 2018. We were medical only, and then the laws shifted in 2020. Do you think there is a difference in the way in which your customers or our shared customers have approached the municipality? Specifically, surrounding whether or not they have a security adviser on the team? I noticed a lot of medical applicants hired former police or prison guards onto their team when it was medical. Did you see a difference in the team structure from medical to adult-use?   

A: That’s a good question. I can only address it anecdotally; I have no metrics to back it up. We still see plenty of retired police chiefs and police officers, detectives, troopers, etc., getting involved. And you know what? I say this to my cannabis customers – or actually all of my customers – if you think that you need it, go for it. Every once and a while – when law enforcement is involved with strong personalities – you must work through the strong personalities, but you can work through it, you can get through it. I will say, the need for that may not be the same it was 5 or 7 years ago because, at this point in time, there is a state police chief association – police chiefs talk – I can be in front of police chiefs in cannabis-friendly communities where the police chief just looks at us and says, “you’re the prospective vendor? I know who you are, you have a good reputation, so you are going to follow the regulations?” our response is yes sir, yes mam. “Well, that will make it a safe facility – the regulations are thorough.” and you are off! Where I would say having a police chief etc. may come in handy if you are in a community where you are going to end up in front of the council, board of select and you are anticipating push back from people who are elective/representative of their communities and maybe aren’t professionals in a manner that helps them understand this industry is fine—having that retired officer on staff to present and explain how it is going to be safe, how children are not going to get ahold of the product. That would be a key time you do need that backup.   

B: You know, so this is what I am thinking about. My background has been 20 years of general practice in architecture before we came to cannabis. One of the pieces that aligned to now working 100 percent in cannabis was we were the architects for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. From 1999 to 2006, we had this massive infrastructure project in the city called the big dig – if listeners are not from Massachusetts, it was a massive, massive project. And each of the abutters needed to fill in their properties afterward, and one of those abutters our customer – the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston – we were in schematic design when the tragedy of 9/11 occurred. So that was our firm’s deep dive into both physical and electronic security. We found our transition into cannabis was buoyed in the early days because there was not someone on the team who had a good handle and could talk to the fire marshal – and, you know, had some bona-fides in the market. I find that less and less impactful with customers, and we are no longer hired because of that background anymore. We have folks like yourself on our team, or as we mentioned, some teams have a retired police officer, security guard, or law enforcement professionals – maybe that is a point towards normalization? Maybe what we are seeing, and I would be curious to hear your thoughts on this, do people recognize that when a cannabis project comes into town the amount of security and by meeting the state regulations ensures that at that facility, there isn’t going to be an increase in drug deals in parking lots – that is just not how it works.  

A: Yeah, absolutely to describe the security for a cannabis facility, whether it is a retailer, a manufacturer for a new product, or even a cultivation facility. When you go and think about a camera system for a small business anywhere from a convenience store to a light manufacturing shop, the amount of camera coverage that cannabis will typically have hails in comparison in both depth and width of coverage and quality of equipment compared to what your non-cannabis industry is going to do. We are talking about people who are – let’s take a retail store, for example, if it was just a convenience store or small clothing store if they were going to put cameras in, let’s say they were going to put 5-10 thousand dollars worth of cameras in for that type of shop on the high end. They could easily be putting 30 or 40, even 50 thousand dollars worth of camera into a cannabis retail shop that is the same square footage – these are extremely rough numbers, but it’s many times over what you would expect.   

B: What are some of the things that drive that? From a business perspective, what’s driving that and from a neighborhood perspective? What do you see for the drivers for the jump in cost and coverage?  

A: It is thoroughness. So, you have a camera on a ceiling in the corner of a room, and it is supposed to cover the entire room, your average camera has a 90 – 100-degree field of view, and that is a very rough number. You are going to have a blind spot underneath that camera – which necessitates putting another camera on the other side potentially if that room has cannabis. It is the use of things like a 360-degree fisheye camera that are covering a whole 360 degrees. Brian, have you ever walked into a bank or a c store, and they have the blurry cameras on the monitor, and they have the old box camera from the 90s?  

B: Yes.   

A: Let’s put this into perspective – that camera right there, that analog camera is at 200, 3, 400-line analog camera that equates out to the megapixel world to probably a 0.3-megapixel camera. For the longest time, the industry standard was to use 2 megapixels which were 1080p, now we are starting to push even 3, 5, 8 plus megapixel cameras. Now what is interesting with cannabis facilities is you need to balance thoroughness and quality of coverage and cost. Not only do the higher cameras cost more, but if you have a 2-megapixel camera and an 8-megapixel camera recording side by side, how many more times is the 8-megapixel going to go and record, and how much more storage does it need on the hard drive? It is a lot more.  

B: What is the value proposition? To the owner? Why would you spend the extra money? Or why wouldn’t you? What’s the value proposition?  

A: I remember working on a project late last year, into this year, where a person who was opening a facility said they wanted 4k cameras for everything – so we gave them that proposal and the storage requirement. That is something else that separates the cannabis industry from everyone else – while the cannabis industry is required by law to maintain a minimum of 90 days (about 3 months), in many cases of non-cannabis security systems, they do not have any recording retention requirements, so maybe you are getting 30 – 60 days (about 2 months) or 2 days to 2 weeks. You do not know that the run of the gambit of that varies depending on what system. Now, on that value proposition, the customer looked at the design and cost and had a moment of panic really, and we had to gather around the campfire and really sort things out with this person. There are times and places where you need higher megapixel cameras – like your driveway entrances, vault entrances, camera over the point of sales systems, but the hallway, the janitorial closet, because yes cannabis control commission very well may be looking for cameras in those spaces but those closets, mechanical spaces, lunchroom, etc., – probably don’t need that high megapixel camera. Not only are you going to save a lot on the camera, but also, I need far less storage now, and we hear this phrase often from the folks in the IT industry “oh, storage is cheap,” and my response is nay. Storage for raw data is cheap, storage for surveillance video footage not so much. Because it is not just the hard drive space, it is the throughput, the byte rate, the core processing power of the server to take in 24, 36, or 560 cameras and record them all at the same time.  

B: So, let me jump in here, the customer deciding on what to purchase and how much to purchase – they need to evaluate what their own business needs are and balance their own business needs for security. Maybe they want to monitor the transactions – like monitoring a bartender’s transactions, so there is no shrinkage going on or at a casino to make sure the dealer isn’t dipping. But the other level is they need to manage the minimum standard by the state. There is the outside influence saying, ok, beyond what you think you need, here is what the state has for you, is that fair? Are those the 2 things?  

A: Let’s take it out of cannabis and put it into the perspective of the bar owner or casino, we are all familiar with that. Some cities and towns now require that you have a working camera system, I think Springfield is one of them. A barroom may need general coverage, but you do not need to be able to zoom in and see the hairs on someone’s beard. But what about the liquor room? What about the camera above the mixing, the wet bar station where the mixology is going on? And what about over the POS? You want to be able to track from the liquor room to those bottles getting into the bar, being checked in, being dispensed in mixing glasses or serving glasses, to that transaction being rung up. You want to be able to follow that person through the process. And I will be blunt, there are some real low-end solutions in the camera industry that have freeware, you are doing yourself a disservice.  I routinely ask folks who have that extremely basic DVR or appliance-based system from China – do you know how to use the system? If I was a detective and said someone was shot in your parking lot and I need you to pull up the footage and download it to this thumb drive for me -Could you do it? I have yet to have a person with that system say yes.  

B: Hm, is that because they do not know how to do it or because it does not work?   

A: They do not know how to do it, it is a convoluted solution, they don’t know what they are doing, it’s the reason why we are moving folks towards cloud base solutions or at least cloud interfaced solutions. So, camera footage is a lot of big bandwidth, you hear a lot of people talking about doing the cloud all the time, not the best solution in my opinion for a cannabis facility with dozens of cameras, because you need fiber PIPE, BUT you can do video software as a service, vims, and that.   

B: Hey, I want to direct this question back around to the entertainment industry. You and I share a customer here close to Boston, without naming names, who come from the bar and restaurant ownership perspective. And I have been enormously impressed with their performance and ability. What I am drawing to here is everyone comes to cannabis from different backgrounds, and security may have different meanings to people depending on the background they came from. I was tremendously impressed with folks coming out of the bar and restaurant industry just at the earliest level from doing community meetings or outreach – this is what many states require entities to break the ice with the neighborhood. Inevitably someone comes to the meaning, a well-intentioned community member, saying, “well, what are you going to do about fake ids?” because they grew up in an era – I’m dating myself here I don’t know if it still happens – but you get a fake ID to get into the bar, oldest trick in the book. Now, this customer really impressed me because they brought a prop to the community meeting and said, “well, every ID has this, and we put it under this light, and it’ll show up, and that’s how we know if it is state-issued or not” so they were on the spot when they came to answering those questions from the community. And it follows through with how they run their operations. Do you see any other parallels from where people are coming from and how it relates to security?  

A: I do – for example, think of it this way – we have a customer at American Alarm, who I do not believe you are involved with – but the same thing they came from an alcohol testing and production background, so they are used to ATF or ATFE at the federal level being interfaced with them. And I will tell you this much right now – if the feds get involved with cannabis regulation instead of leaving it to the states, that is even more difficult to meet those standards because the DEA has their own standards for controlled substances manufacturing facility. So, if they level those, we are going to have cannabis facilities needing to do partial rebuilds.   

B: That is fascinating. I had not even begun to think about that, and this is worth exploring. We have been doing a lot of future-proofing with our customers, and future-proofing, usually in my world so far, has not really touched on security. It has always been about biosafety, food safety, good manufacturing practices, quarantining. What you are bringing up is alcohol, tobacco, and firearms. What if that organization were to change their name and become the alcohol cannabis, tobacco, and firearms? Tell us about that because I do have a background in working at a federal level, and we had to do things like bullet resistance glass at the BR level. I always have advised our customers in cannabis – it becomes a slippery slope when there is no federal-level mandate – because which level do you choose? Br 1, 2, 3? It starts to increase the caliber of the gun. And it is a slippery slope – where do you put them? Do you put this glass at every transaction count? How do you deal with that? How do you advise your customers with BR level, and do you think that is coming? Because cannabis is already being talked about in the Biden- Haris administration, at least legalizing cannabis at a federal level – nothing about security.   

A: Yeah, so here is an interesting thing to consider – just to go and show how fun this industry is to be in… So, cannabis is a plant material, so there is a high probability of ending up with USDA involvement. It gets processed by manufacturing facilities that are regulated by state DPH and the Cannabis Control Commission with the same or similar regulations to FDA, so those folks could get involved. Who knows, ATF might try and claim their spot. And then you have the DEA, who have narcotic manufacturing and controlled substance manufacturing regulations because, let’s face it, if you think the cannabis facility needs security imagine a facility that creates opioids like morphine. So, you have all these kinds of question marks about what the future holds it’s only – there are folks that say it’s getting Simpler or simpler as time goes on – but the reality is this might be the calm before the storm. BUT I go back to attorney general Andrew Lelling the attorney at the federal level in MA, out of Boston, who said, “as long as we follow a few basic rules, he has bigger fish to fry” so when we talk about whether a cannabis facility is safe imagine that Andrew Lelling who I believe has been in his role since…   

B: Oh, he is out now, Andrew Lelling has left the post. I do not know who took his role.   

A: Oh, I’m not up to date on my news. The last standing edict was that as long as this industry didn’t target children or get involved with money laundering or other crimes, he was ill-prepared to go after this state-regulated industry when he has heroin and fentanyl issues.   

B: I remember that clearly, and he was appointed under republic leadership, the attorney general was talking all kinds of nonsense the past few years.  

A: So, fancy this, let’s think about this. These facilities are so non-offensive that with a slam dunk case, any attorney general could hang their heads on these cases and make a name for themselves, but they are choosing not to go after these facilities because they are deemed safe even though they are technically illegal at the federal level – they are so safe that the federal government is not doing anything about it. Plus, it is a political firestorm – but that is beside the point that is just added character.   

B: So, let’s bring this back around to the theme that cannabis is a good neighbor. Not trying to scare the audience – depending on who our audience is, whether you’re a municipal planning board member, a neighbor thinking about going to a planning meeting, or an entity who has already experienced these concerns – I think this level of attention, detail, and knowledge that exists within the industry ought to put the public really at ease. Is there any light at the end of that tunnel? What is your feeling? Fewer calls from the chief of police?   

A: Yeah, I will say this much about the police chief – the quote-on-quote average police chief if there is such a thing – it also depends on their experience with cannabis – the feedback we get for the most part. So we also do a lot of police stations, we are known in the law enforcement community typically in a positive manner, I think – I’d like to hope so at least – the police chiefs have dealt w cannabis more usually have a far better or more favorable opinion. And it’s not that they have an opinion based on just a good feeling. It’s that they are actually looking at this industry and the history of the facilities in their municipalities and how little trouble, if any trouble at all. If you are a business owner and you can say that you have not caused a distraction, that is fine. Probably the other big security concern – not as much as security but life safety concerns – things like traffic.   

B: We have a huge issue with traffic in this state. The first couple ones [cannabis facilities] that opened up, that was a huge concern.  

A: Yeah, the first couple – and then pre-covid19 when we were going out, you don’t really see that anymore. Maybe some of the big names that have a cult following – good for them – that have a grand opening for a new store or an anniversary celebration but even that you do not even see a need for police traffic detail.   

B: Well, we are still feeling the repercussions from that. Our good friends in Lester, Mass, opened their facility on Black Friday, right after Thanksgiving, and it was on the only road connecting to the Walmart, so the backup in traffic was monumental. So that was an unfortunate confluence of circumstances. It was not indictive or foreshadowing what was going to happen to every dispensary opening. It was just the perfect storm, is how I have heard it described, and yet for the ongoing following 2 years, every community has been in an uproar over the traffic issue, you know “what is this going to do to our traffic?” You know this is potential for another conversation is traffic concerns surrounding cannabis. And whether people actually make unique trips to buy cannabis or doing it like the way they buy milk, it’s an errand they run because it is a daily routine or weekly routine, it is just another stop you make your out in your car anyway. Now Covid has changed this – are people ordering online more and picking up in-store? Do you see any differences in your day-to-day with your customers? More e-commerce? Or did any of your customers close – forced to shut down?   

A: We had some customers that did a temporary shuttering of the door at the very start of the COVID-19 shutdown right about a year or so ago today. Our friends at Cultivate – well, funny story I grew up right down the hill from a cultivator in Lester – in elementary school, my parents use to let me ride my bike up the hill, and I’d turn around in what was then the Lester tools parking lot and ride home. So, I know the town of Lester well. I ran for town selectman several years ago before I moved out of town. Lester is a fun community – not without its challenges. A community like Lester is not prepared for the onslaught that was the first several weeks until the next round of 5 or 7 adult-use cannabis stores opened, but within like 60 or 90 days, I was having conversations with my pops, my parents now live in the center of town in a different home than we grew up and I would be like hey is the traffic as bad as the news makes it out to be? And he would shrug his shoulders because even though the traffic was bad over on the west of town, there is very little out there. So, it was a temporary inconvenience everyone got over it, and it’s not a problem anymore, everyone got over it. Because now with the competition, you do not have everybody in New York and New England who wanted to go buy legal cannabis east of the Mississippi all showing up to only two business in two towns, and North Hampton is a bigger town, I think it’s a city, but even north Hampton was going to struggle with that immediate on slot, but then it went away. Now there are other businesses that are just chugging along like they were before. I think the official figures are that there is an expectation of 450 cannabis retail outlets opening in the next 5 years. I think that is the number I keep hearing.   

B: We are over 100 now, is that correct? Somewhere like 105 – 110 somewhere in that ballpark.   

A: Sounds about right, and if you think about it, we are now at that point where there is no line no wait for most stores. Yes, I get it. There are a few stores that have a cult following that have a line wrapped around the block good for them. That is great, but that’s an exception, not the rule, but now you have to go and present that at a town board meeting or community outreach meeting. And some people are upset, some people are going to continue to be against cannabis, and we are talking logical answers to the problem. For some people, this is not a logical problem.   

B: You mention a really good point which is – what I’m hearing as an architect – is that ambient security is not created by cameras and alarm systems but by location. What is your advice to a town when they are doing their zoning? If we are looking at another 200 facilities opening in MA in the next couple of years, what is a town official to think about of choosing a location in the town, should it be a remote industrial neighborhood or in the commercial village next to the nail salon or liquor store? Is it really causing havoc around daycare centers and schools? Is that a real security concern or a perceived security concern?  

A: Again – only being able to speak anecdotally about it unless I have missed something – which is always possible these days – I have yet to hear of a case of a child walking into a cannabis facility and buying cannabis – it just does not happen. I have friends and coworkers who joke about back when they were kids they would sit outside liquor stores and offer money to a person to go in make a straw purchase – could that happen – sure absolutely – could also happen at a liquor store and quite frankly if someone goes and smokes some cannabis or take some edibles they just chill out sit back enjoy the ride and maybe order a pizza. You know the person who does a straw purchase then drinks, gets in the car behind the wheel and crashes – more likely. Again we are going back to the logical versus the emotional attachment of what we have been told about cannabis for so long, much of which that we are now actively proving is so wrong.   

B: So, what about location? I’m just thinking out loud here many towns are pushing our customers into an industrial zone even when they are just doing retail. Why should the public drive to an industrial park that they have otherwise no reason to go to to buy cannabis when they could put it in the commercial zone where all the other retail happens. Do you think that would improve general security or endanger our families? Is there any evidence that would suggest that having these facilities in a commercial retail zone really poses any threat?  

A: You just specifically asked about retail – but on the cultivation and manufacturing side –nobody wants a 50,000 sqft mill building or factory in their neighborhood, ok I get it that’s cool. We get it. That said – what about retail. Well, first of all, it is far more likely that a police patrol is going to drive down the main street than pine street in the boonies. That’s just logical, isn’t it? You know the odds of a random law enforcement patrol driving down a busier commercial area is far more likely, now are those areas far more likely to have conflicting businesses like daycares – I’m willing to bet the daycares that do not want cannabis stores next door don’t want liquor stores next door either, let’s just face it. Ok we can work with that. It does not change the security systems much – whether it’s out in the boonies or on Main Street – but you know what does change? The response time. Law enforcement does not have the same assets out in rural areas as it does in commercial areas or downtown areas, Argo if an alarm activation happens at 1 Spring Street on the edge of town, that might be a 5-7-minute response time at breakneck speeds vs. If it’s right in downtown “you know I’m at dunkies down the street I’ll go sergeant” and then there they are, the police coming down the street  

B: That’s an interesting perception. And then you ask what’s important to the town? Retail cannabis operators are going to want to be… Well, that’s an obvious answer, but can the town begin to assimilate the data and begin to get over the stigma that says ‘oh, we can’t have that on our main street? What is it going to do to our town?’ I think that is what we all as an industry can come to terms within the near future and have the understanding that that cannabis shops can supply additional security and cameras on the street, additional lighting, more jobs, additional traffic that is going to bolster businesses around them.   

A: I often hear from folks that I know that they don’t really dig the smell of burning cannabis. Ok, that can be a strong odor and is not for everybody, with the advent of things like edibles, beverages, vapes, etc. The reality is, is the person who might be in a coastal community looking to go walk out on the beach and, you know, puffs away on a vape pen – they aren’t going to harm anyone or bother anybody. They deserve to have access, or if someone wants to put a store where they can easily access it amongst the ice cream, and fudge, and beach towel stores, etc.   

B: Jersey shore, baby! Cape code. Route 128. Put it next to the clam shack on Bass River.   

A:  and having been to the coast guard, and up the Chatham and the Bass River because I know exactly what you’re talking about and putting a cannabis retail store there is not going to bother anybody. Those are people who are renting an Airbnb and are going to go outside and maybe have a smoke. And you think cannabis is going to be problematic? They can buy cigars. Nothing is going to stop them. It comes back down to if we want to have logical conversations about how to overcome. I’m very convinced that with thinking and ingenuity, we can overcome problems that have a logical base. The emotional stuff I struggle with because I’m not an emotional person.   

B: This was great, and you touched on a lot of good things – like odor control which is going to be one of the topics of our podcast. We are going to be interviewing around odor control – next is noise control which is a bigger issue for manufacturing facilities that have 24/7 operations and large coolers, but this conversation has been awesome. This has been awesome thanks for your time.   


This is a podcast series brought to you by Anderson Porter DesignBrian Anderson is joined by cannabis industry experts to discuss concerns of cannabis in the neighborhood. Our goal is to provide industry experts with information regarding sustainability, best practices, and challenges they may face with communities while working in cannabis. We also hope industry experts will use this podcast as a resource to share on a local level to educate communities and lawmakers about what they can expect by having cannabis as a neighbor.


Brian Anderson


Principal, Co-Founder

Anderson Porter Design




Andrew Klein


Integrated System Consultant/System Designer

American Alarm