Canadian freight companies are considering cargo insurance if they are going to transport cannabis products. Cannabis is still a Class 1 drug in the eyes of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service. FedEx and UPS have made the decision not to transport any. That is why the growing cannabis industry requires security solutions for its products like Brink’ armored transportation services.
Cannabis is not a typical cargo to carry. Although drugs are legalized, they represent unique challenges in cargo security. This is part of the reason why some companies are considering cargo insurance for cannabis transportation.
There is still an active black market for cannabis, and shipments are particularly valuable. A single dispatch from the distribution center can be worth more than $5 million while trailers used by growers can carry between $20 million and $30 million worth of goods.
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The main solution for cannabis transportation
Many carriers did not want to get involved as cannabis is still a “Class 1” drug in the eyes of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service. As such, FedEx and UPS have made the decision not to transport it.
The solution came in the form of a multi-year agreement with Brink’s, a fleet traditionally known for transporting cash and other valuables using armored vehicles. This agreement was signed just over a year ago, a few weeks after cannabis legalization in Canada.
“The growing cannabis industry requires security solutions for its products as well as for its liquidity, and Brink’s is uniquely positioned to provide these solutions,” said Doug Pertz, president and CEO of Brink’s at the time.
Plant safety is still a challenge in the cannabis industry
“Globally, I think cannabis will become a growing industry,” Pertz said in an interview with Jim Camer, host of Mad Money, in connection with a $160 billion global market. “Probably only about 10% of this amount is legal, but that means that the demand and business opportunities are huge.”
Safety is only one of the major challenges when it comes to cannabis transportation.
“It takes a lot of creativity,” said Sly, referring to the need to maintain the right temperatures and provide artificial light for plants during transport. “It’s getting tricky.”
Each transportation must also be approved by Health Canada and must have secure storage, security cameras, and personnel screenings. No blind spots are allowed in the installations.
Strict rules already in place for cannabis transportation
“If anything is missing, you must notify the RCMP within 24 hours,” added Mr. Sly in conjunction with other unique guidelines and trailer geo-tracking for cannabis transportation to help identify any equipment that is off track.
Recently legalized edible products will bring other challenges. But by planning ahead for this product category, Canopy Growth has already ensured that all long-distance transportation equipment in its network is equipped with temperature and humidity controls. Everything is ready to move forward.
“We are responsible for every gram, every unit that is shipped,” concluded Sly. “Everything must be perfect.”
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First published in TransportRoutier, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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