A security services provider from California has decided to expand their business with a transportation service for the cannabis industry.
MPS International who has offices in California, Colorado, Maryland, Illinois, Nevada and Washington is one of the first to provide armored car services to transport both the cannabis product and the revenues from the sales of the cannabis.
Most of the larger armored car services have stayed out of the business of transporting anything related to the industry because there are still questions on the legality of the sale of the product and the transportation of the cash derived from it.
Brink’s, Dunbar Armored, Loomis – they all help traditional retailers securely haul bags of cash from Point A to Point B but they’re still standing on the sidelines when it comes to the marijuana business.
The need for security and transportation services for this multibillion dollar legal marijuana business is huge but there is a shortage of providers for these services that they need the most, protection.
As Michael Julian, the CEO of smaller armored car firm MPS International told Bloomberg, “I’m not a brilliant businessman. I just have enough common sense to see that something needed to happen, and we jumped on it.”
As he says, “There are more dispensaries in Denver than there are Starbucks.”
In 2016, Colorado’s legal cannabis industry brought in more than $1 billion in revenue.
But due to federal regulation, the cannabis industry has limited (or no) access to traditional banking services.
Since growers and dispensaries can’t process debit or credit card payments, they’re forced to conduct the majority of their business in cash.
So at the end of the day, more than 450 dispensaries in Denver are sitting on large piles of cash making them targets for robberies and thefts.
Since recreational marijuana was legalized three years ago, there have been nearly 600 reports of dispensary robberies in Denver.
MPS International says that they now hire the enforcement officers that were once trained to crack down on cannabis smugglers.
Julian predicts that by this time next year, armored trucks across 28 states (plus D.C.) will be picking up millions of dollars in marijuana money.
And you likely won’t see the usual names like Brink’s, Dunbar Armored or Loomis printed on the side.
Instead, they’ll most likely be today’s little-known companies that are quietly becoming the industry leaders.