Securing a Place in the Cannabis Industry: A Conversation with Canna Security...

Securing a Place in the Cannabis Industry: A Conversation with Canna Security America’s Tom Siciliano

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Founded in 2009 by former CEO Dan Williams and officially launched in March 2010, Canna Security America (CSA) is the first national security solutions provider for the cannabis industry. They recently had some interesting developments within the company. I got a chance to speak with Interim President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Siciliano about these developments and about the cannabis industry as a whole.

Jason Sander: Please give us a brief overview of your role with CSA.

Tom Siciliano: “There are a lot of interesting people that have great ideas within the legal cannabis space, but many of them don’t know how to run a profitable business. CSA recruited me specifically because of my background in helping run successful companies and increasing their bottom line. For instance, my experience includes a fortune 500 company like Aramark, and a private equity based company like Classic Party Rentals. I’ve also helped take several smaller companies public.”

JS: A large percentage of theft in the legal cannabis industry is internal. How has CSA helped deter employee theft as well as prevent other property crimes?

TS: “I’ve had a lot of experience running large organizations and the best detractor I’ve seen is the presence and mindfulness of leadership or management. Not only to let employees know you look at camera footage so you know what they’re up to, but to support them and let them know that you’ve got their backs. Good employees appreciate this because they know that you see all of their hard work and that you’re paying them a fair wage. We aren’t hovering over you waiting for you to make a mistake. Instead, we are on your side, we want to help build you up and promote you, but also make sure nothing is walking out of the door.”

JS: Now let’s talk about CSA’s new developments.

TS:  “Our new owner after the resignation of Williams is helping to drive CSA forward. The board has asked me to step in and also help run the company. We ironed out some previous tax issues. We’ve also been able to retain all of our former employees, which I am very pleased with. During this process, we were also able to secure a company that tripled the size of our organization overnight. We acquired a company called Big Al’s Security, which is based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Big Al’s is also licensed for sales in the cannabis space in Colorado, Oregon and Arizona. CSA teaming up with Big Al’s now makes us one of the single largest cannabis security-based companies in the U.S, if not the largest. We offer a total solution. We do on-site guards, armored transportation, as well as provide cameras, surveillance systems, keypad entries, and monitoring and alarm systems.”

JS: What else sets CSA apart?

TS: “95% of all CSA employees are former law enforcement, so our customers can be sure these professionals know what they are doing. Along with our employees, 90% of Big Al’s employees are former military personnel. Between both of our companies, we believe in investing and training our employees so they become experts in de-escalation tactics. We truly believe we can serve as a model for other companies as how to run a fiscally sound, successful business in the cannabis industry.”

JS: Where do you see the legal cannabis industry in 5 years?

TS: “We hope to see more states jump on board with legalization, and I think we will continue to see more of that in the coming years. My main objective is to protect everyone’s passion within the cannabis space – be it our partners, our customers or our employees. Everyone within CSA is invested in the growth of the cannabis industry and has a passion for the great products it can provide. For me, CBD products that help people with seizure disorders are extremely important because my son suffers from seizures. Also, cannabis is very important in helping treat the symptoms that our veterans suffering from PTSD have. So again, it starts with a passion and an idea, and then you build a profitable business model around that.”

JS: Thanks so much for this conversation, Tom.

TS: “Thank you, Jason.”

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