Unmarked armored vans stuffed with armed men transporting hundreds of pounds of marijuana within the U.S. may seem like shady business, but it’s actually 100% legal. Secure transport businesses are legit and are helping marijuana cultivators and dispensaries transport their product and cash.
New Frontier Data says that legal marijuana sales continue to grow by 17% annually, Trucks.com reports, and by 2020, marijuana sales are expected to reach about $13.3 billion.
CannaGuard Security, based out of Portland, currently serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Illinois and Florida. Noah Stokes of CannaGuard Security said, “Pound for pound, it’s like transporting gold. And there are no serial numbers on it. Customers have to pay in cash, and it’s all difficult to insure.”
Many of CannaGuard’s 140 employees are military veterans. Those employees work an entire fleet of armored vehicles that transport a federally illegal commodity every day. The company’s warehouse is a highly secured 40,000-sqft building that stores marijuana and cash.
The company doesn’t move entire harvests, but instead transports only a few hundred pounds or less at a time to keep the fleet vehicles small in size and to reduce liability.
Stokes said, “We’re not loading up semi-trucks with product and driving them anywhere. It’s small quantities in box trucks and vans going up and down I-5.”
They also transport millions of dollars in cash because most marijuana dispensaries can’t get access to traditional banking due to marijuana’s federally illegal status. Much of the cash is stored in vaults or is transported to a specialized bank.
The vehicles at CannaGuard all have tracking equipment showing location in real time and alerts are sent if a driver speeds or goes off the planned route. All vehicles are equipped with bulletproof glass, armored plating and safe deposit boxes for clients to retrieve their products using an electronic code.
Another secure transport company, Canna Security America, operates in 14 marijuana states and has 130 clients.
Photo: Youtube/Inkas Group