The spread of legalization to new states, particularly on the East Coast, is providing new opportunities for security companies that provide armed guards to cannabis businesses, and for veterans with firearms training. Paul Ballenger, Chief Executive Officer of Invicta Solutions, is a Marine veteran and Army Reservist with about 400 armed security guards working in five states including California, Colorado, and Arizona. They guard schools, religious institutions, and shopping malls. Invicta also provides armed guards for cannabis companies, has acquired the security guard business last year from Helix Technologies of Denver, and it’s a hot market given the attractive target that cash-flush cannabis shops pose for robbers. “I never really intended to be in the cannabis space at all,” said Ballenger, who said he supports legalization though he doesn’t use cannabis. But now, he said that he’s “100%” committed to expansion to the East Coast. Ballenger said his goal is to have Invicta in the key markets of New York, New Jersey, and Florida by the end of this year. Florida has a medical cannabis program, but adult use is not legal there. New York and New Jersey have medical dispensaries and adult-use is legal there, but recreational sales haven’t started yet. This is creating job opportunities in a tight job market, particularly for veterans with experience in firearms. Ballenger estimates that at least half of his guards are veterans and they carry an assortment of semiautomatic sidearms made by Glock, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, and Heckler & Koch.

420 Intel – Marijuana Industry News, 07/05/2021 20:00:00

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