Retired Police Officers are Now Becoming Head Security for Some of Canada’s top Cannabis Companies
Many Canadian police officers are no longer arresting people for growing marijuana but protecting the crop.
Former Edmonton police office, Rick Martens, is now the head of security for Aurora Sky Cannabis’ production facility after being a police officer for 26 years.
Aurora’s facility is 800,000 square feet and houses thousands of kilograms of marijuana.
Martens explained that when the facility was being built he was intrigued and decided to apply for the top security job.
Martens says he is content with his current position,
“I get to be with the people that, under some circumstances, I probably would have arrested. But now it’s becoming legal, and some of these people are actually very good people.”
A Seamless Transition
Martens explains that with his experience doing surveillance in the police force, his new responsibilities as the head of security at the facility are nothing new to him.
There was a time where he was part of raids and busting illegal marijuana production.
“We had to go into houses and, under search warrants, bag up multiple plants and grow-ops where there are lights and all kinds of stuff that ended up having to be seized.”
“A lot of police officers are drawing a fine line in the sand and trying to figure out exactly which side they’re on. But the bottom line is, it’s going to be law, so you’re either part of the solution or you are part of the problem.”
He explained that he was also lenient when dealing with minor marijuana possession cases.
“I’ll be honest with you, I haven’t broken up a lot of fights with people that have been under the influence of cannabis. Alcohol has always been something that I’ve seen as more of a tyrant.”
The Moment That Changed it All
One incident that changed touching incident completely altered Mike Barrat’s perspective. It was an encounter with a young man he met who was purchasing medical marijuana for his uncle who was suffering from Parkinson disease.
He was doubtful of the story, so he took the young man to his uncle’s home.
“I saw it with my own eyes. Within 20 minutes it was a complete turnaround for him. I was shocked, I was almost disbelieving to some degree, how well it worked for him. At that point, it tugged at my heartstrings a bit. It really did. And I’ll remember for the rest of my life because that was a pinnacle moment that I appreciated it on a different level.”
A spokesperson for Aurora Cannabis Inc. Heather MacGregor, explained that all of Aurora’s facilities have state-of-the-art surveillance technology
At Aurora Sky, no one is granted access without wearing protective gear and swiping key cards given to those with security clearance.
“There are security devices on ventilation systems and every square foot of the facilities are monitored to identify everyone entering and exiting at all times, day and night.”
McGregor stated that the company is specific in who is chosen for their security. People with experience as first responders tend to be capable of running the complex security systems.