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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Security Firms Gear Up For Marijuana Legalization

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Recreational marijuana will be legal in Oregon starting July 1.

Recreational marijuana will be legal in Oregon starting July 1. And with it comes a host of new business opportunities.

But it's not just people growing and selling pot who are preparing to cash in.

Marijuana is not like other cash crops. People don't typically raid wheat fields or break into grain bins. But Noah Stokes of CannaGuard Security in Portland said the high value of pot makes it a frequent theft target.

Stokes said the underground nature of the marijuana business has meant many growers haven't invested in state-of-the-art security systems.

"Their security systems are 'you don't know where I store my stuff,’ he said. “Well, when you put an address on the state's website, and you put a sign outside your building that says 'I have marijuana here,' it makes it easier for the criminals to know how to attack it."

Stokes' company already serves medical marijuana growers and dispensaries. But he said the impending legalization of recreational marijuana has brought him more business.