Heidi: What are some of the challenges you are trying to solve for grow houses?
Paul: Typically, when they first come to us they are looking for security solutions. Once they understand the capabilities of surveillance video and analytics, clients also become interested in using the video data collected for business intelligence beyond security. With their video footage, companies are able to monitor the health of plants, internal thefts, shrink (loss) during the cutting process, and to track revenue better, since this is primarily a cash-based industry.
Heidi: Are the challenges different between grow houses, production facilities, and dispensaries?
Paul: I see similar challenges. However, one that all organizations in this industry focus around is a very cash-rich environment. The fact that marijuana is illegal under US federal law makes for an interesting dynamic. Most of the business nationwide is cash based, which adds a complexity when making and documenting transactions. The use of banks is prohibited as federal law does not allow banking transactions to occur where federal law is not followed.
Heidi: What makes this industry different than those you have previously sold into?
Paul: This entire industry is unchartered territory with a social, political, and legal stigma attached to it. Change is coming slowly, but it will take time for greater acceptance. Even as large as it is, national suppliers, logistic companies, and banks avoid working with businesses associated with this industry. Not to mention there are some major concerns with the current administration and its intentions on how to react with the number of states coming online to legalize cannabis in one way or another.
As Paul and I talked more about the “budding” cannabis industry. we discussed the “high” expectations that the states have either implemented or are planning to implement with respect to video surveillance systems. More than half of the states in the US have already legalized marijuana in one form or another, and many others have legislation in the “pipeline” ready to be executed. We agreed that Milestone and Quantum are becoming part of the solution. Together, we can help educate the cannabis industry to solve the surveillance and security challenges they face every day.
Paul Messenger, a Milestone Systems employee of six years, is manager of Partner Development & Inside Channel Management (ICM). After two years with Partner Service & Sales Support, he took on the first ICM position at Milestone Systems in 2012 and has been instrumental in making the role a vital part of the sales organization. In 2016, Paul took on the leadership of the ICM team, which focuses on developing Milestone reseller partners to increase their sales across the company’s full product line.
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