Local agency hoping to provide security for marijuana businesses

It’s something that anyone who owns a security guard agency in Washington has probably considered, said Debie Batterson, CEO of King County Security Guards, LLC.

Providing security services to those in the marijuana business for their operations seems like the logical next step for some after the drug became legal in this state.

“It’s not that I agree with marijuana coming into our state,” she said. “I think it’s ludicrous, but they deserve to be safe if they’re going to do it. And if the state says its ok for them to do it, then we need to be able to protect them and that’s just not going to happen.”

Batterson and her associates have tried to learn everything they can about the industry by attending conferences in March and April and paying close attention to what the federal government is doing in Washington and Colorado.

“The rules were very ambiguous in the beginning as to where we would fit in it,” she said. “And it’s still kind of that way, the federal government hasn’t completely signed-off on it, but we understand that there might be an opportunity.”

That opportunity she sees is a potentially very profitable one. Colorado got some sort of a dispensation to have armed guards inside their facilities, she said.

“Of course, I’m a business owner,” said Batterson. “We’re always looking at where’s the next thing down the road we can add to what we’re doing. And in security there’s always something there. There’s always that next step and I believe that this could take my business to another level.”

King County Security Guards is considering hiring more former military personnel, with experience in convoy/decoy operations. Being involved with the transportation of large sums of money is probably the only way they can be involved at this point, without risking breaking the law.

Right now, employees of the marijuana business have to be the ones trained and there can be no weapons of any kind on the premises.

“It’s a crying shame that the state of Washington doesn’t want to protect these people and doesn’t want to figure out some way to make this happen for them,” Batterson said. “They’re untrained. They’re going to have weapons inside their facility because they are going to have to. It’s just a bad thing waiting to happen.”

It’s also just a waiting game, right now. Batterson’s company currently supplies security for executive protection, locating trafficking victims, runaways, provides domestic violence support and travel security among other services. The company has three licensed trainers and could possibly be involved in that way depending on how the federal government leans.

“It’s one of those things too I have a moral obligation to my community and if we can’t land on this good side of things, I could easily step back from it too.”

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