Four Tips When Handling Your Marijuana Business’ Money

By Doug Cunningham

Despite the widespread use of PayPal, Internet banking and credit cards, the use of cash is as widely used as ever. It is passed around the United States from hand-to-hand every day, leaving many businesses vulnerable to exploitation at the hands of counterfeit bills. But there are a number of ways of protecting your business from suffering the effects of counterfeit money, so read through these useful tips and apply them to your business to prevent the damages of fake money.

The marijuana industry generates a lot of cash that banks are often afraid to accept. This is because Federal agencies might charge them with money laundering, and so the marijuana industry has largely been forced to deal in a cash only basis. This poses a legitimate danger, as many marijuana businesses are subject to violent crimes. This makes it necessary for marijuana businesses to take extra care of their money.

Empower your employees

You should take an active role in training your employees to recognize counterfeit money. If you can show your employees the differences between real and fake money, you’ll have a better chance of avoiding the pitfalls of counterfeit money. The easiest way is by comparing a fake with another bill.

Portraits on a real bill will be very defined and stand out from the background. The portraits of a fake will be low quality, they won’t stand out as much as on a real bill, and the background tends to be too dark.

Explain to your employees that they should not make assumptions about customers. Anyone could be handing over a fake bill, consciously or unconsciously. It would be disrespectful to analyze the money given by one person and not the other, so employees should focus on the money, rather than the customer.

Counterfeit Detector PenUsing technology

Investing in CCTV is a first step that any marijuana business should consider. This will allow the business to track anyone who enters, as well as track any suspicious activity that may have gone unnoticed during the day. Cameras should appear at the entrance, as well as have a clear view of the point of sales counter.

You should also purchase a counterfeit detector. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit extra to get the most up to date detector, as counterfeit money is a business itself and is continually changing in order to beat such technologies.

Money Movement

As already noted, marijuana businesses are being targeted by criminals because it is now common knowledge that most use a cash only system. This means that large quantities of cash are often stored in the business’ premises. You should consider a way of moving the money to a safer location to store it. Wherever that location is should be a secret and the money should be stored in a reliable safe. The business owner and trusted employees, such as managers, should be the only ones who know about this, as inside job attacks on the marijuana industry are common.


You should inform your employees of the correct protocol to follow if they have been given counterfeit money. They should not confront the individual. Delay them and try to take as much information as possible, such as car registration plates and a general description. If you have installed CCTV, this will be much easier. Again, the location of your cameras is really important to get the most effective use out of them. Confronting the individual could be potentially dangerous to the member of staff and other customers.

Installing an emergency button beneath the counter would be a good idea in order to protect your business and its staff. This would also warn off potential attacks on the business if it becomes known that there is an emergency button present on location.

In conclusion, as a marijuana business owner, it is extremely important to take the necessary steps to protect both your own business and your employees. Technologies will help the prevention of counterfeit money being used in the store, as well as warn off potential attacks. Explaining to your employees these simple steps will help them to protect themselves and the store as well.