As more states enact cannabis legalization and allow sales of medical and adult-use marijuana, the myriad laws around cannabis businesses, particularly federal banking restrictions and concerns about facility security, are keeping media attention on this cash-heavy industry.
The staff at cannabis security provider Iron Protection Group recently took another turn in the spotlight as a National Geographic camera crew documented the day-to-day of transporting cash and keeping dispensaries protected. IPG has previously been featured in The New York Times, Daily VICE, Weediquette on Viceland and Al Jazeera, among others.
The shoot was for an upcoming special series of episodes on the cannabis industry, as part of NatGeo’s Explorer feature. The series, whose premiere is TBA, is expected to have 28 episodes in total, diving deep on various cannabis topics and people within the industry.
The legendary Selema “Sal” Masekela, host of this Explorer episode, embedded with the IPG team for two days in May 2018. Mr. Masekela is a journalist, musician and producer best known for his work presenting ESPN’s Summer and Winter X Games for nearly 20 years.
IPG’s Managing Director Hunter Garth wasn’t sure what to expect from a National Geographic shoot, but he said the whole experience was very positive. “Sal is a legend, and he and his crew were so easy to work with. They made everything really simple and let us be organic.”
On Day 1, the staff took Mr. Masekela around Colorado to tour the nation’s longest-running legalized adult-use cannabis industry, and the important role IPG plays in it, providing on-site security for dispensaries, transporting cash and providing consulting and training services. They were also interested in our unique model of hiring military veterans.
On Day 2, the crew followed Hunter for a “day in his life.” Mr. Masekela drove around with Hunter as he went on a cash transportation run, met with clients and directed a weapons training session, along with discussing IPG operations in a staff meeting, which are open to all IPG employees to help the former veterans on staff learn about business operations so they can advance their own careers.
Mr. Masekela also went out on a training exercise with security employees. As part of that segment, Hunter gave Mr. Masekela his first lesson in how to shoot a gun.
“I felt good about it,” says Hunter, “because I was able to introduce him to using a weapon in a responsible way.”
We’ll update this page and our social media when we know the exact dates the segment will air on National Geographic, so you can watch us doing what we do best: providing the best cannabis security in the industry.