William J. Cousins, CPP, CCCE

March 8, 2022


The key to any association is the people that make up the network. From lawyers and banking professionals to commercial cannabis business owners and all who fall in between, we are proud of the diverse and expanding network of professionals and experts who are our members. To show our appreciation for the exceptional individuals in our community, we are highlighting William Cousins this week. Please reach out and connect with him here!

Founded by William (Bill) Cousins a Secret Service veteran, WJ Cousins & Associates LLC, a full range of security consulting, risk management advisory services, and litigation consulting for attorneys. We primarily serve businesses in the new and emerging cannabis industry. We apply the same concepts and principles of protection used by the U.S. Secret Service to ensure our clients in the cannabis industry have a safe and secure environment for their business. We start by providing our clients by designing and writing the initial security plans which are required by the state and local authorities. Once the client is licensed and begins business operations, we also assist them in developing a Crisis Management Plan and provide Risk Management advisory services. We see that as cannabis businesses grow, they become more vulnerable because their exposure to liability issues increases. These liabilities expose the client to administrative, civil, and criminal, penalties. Now, with our membership in the Association of Certified Commercial Cannabis Experts, our firm is better prepared to provide our clients with both our expert security consulting and best practices in risk management.

William started working in the commercial cannabis industry several years ago when the state of Michigan was first accepting licenses for cannabis businesses. I was contacted by several investors asking me to write their security plans. The demand for security plans was so great, I made the decision to focus my business on the industry. My reputation as security expert led to me being invited to act as a  consultant for the state of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. I have been engaged by several local communities to act in an advisory capacity as they draft their ordinances for cannabis businesses. I have now written security plans for well over 100 cannabis businesses in four states.

I was writing plans for the physical security of cannabis facilities. Overtime I observed that after my clients businesses were operational, they did not have any knowledge about risk management or how to remain compliant with regulatory requirements. I then started writing crisis management plans and conducting security related training for their employees. Soon I discovered I needed to advance my knowledge of risk management practices.

ACCCE offers me the opportunity to work with cohorts who are involved in the cannabis industry. Working with these professionals allows me to share my knowledge of how to design and implement Crisis Management Plans for cannabis businesses. It also affords me the ability to gain further knowledge of risk management best practices.

In summary, there is no other organization that has such quality members who are experts in the profession of risk management. Being a part of ACCCE allows me to not only reach out and share my knowledge, but I am also able to expand my knowledge by working with the other members. In my opinion, ACCCE is the leading organization for risk management professionals who work in the cannabis industry.

In addition to his credential as a Certified Commercial Cannabis Expert – ACCE, Bill Cousins has earned the coveted Certified Protection Professional credential from the American Society for Industrial Security – ASIS. He has also been selected as a committee member for ASIS to develop and publish the best practices guidelines for security in the cannabis industry.

We are proud to have an esteemed member like William Cousins in our network. As our community continues to grow, we find it important to thank our members for their commitment to professionalizing the commercial cannabis industry. Thank you, William, for being such an important part of the cannabis community. Together, we are a part of something great.