5 Most Common Security Infractions in the Cannabis Business

Following security protocols is necessary for operating a dispensary, and knowing the more common mistakes can prevent you from making them. Some of the most expensive violations for marijuana companies have to do with inadequate security systems and oversight of licensed marijuana operations. In the event of a breach or incident in the licensing company’s stocks, employees, or activities, the first standard procedure for regulators is to check the surveillance system. Any security system and surveillance problems will always be identified when investigating unrelated infractions.


Top 5 infractions in Security and Surveillance:

  • The cameras do not have a clear, unrestricted view of all activity without visual obstacles.
  • All records available to the monitoring system are not stored in the licensed premise.
  • Licensee does not currently have a list of authorized employees and service personnel with access to the surveillance system.
  • Licensee does not maintain any surveillance camera locations or coverage directions.
  • The surveillance system does not have an “active” notification¬†system¬†(this cannot be an email or web notification).


All cameras on-premises must have a clear, unobstructed view of all activity. An excellent regulatory test for licensees or operators is to have an employee walk through the facility with an empty box. If during the walk, the employee or box is not visible on the surveillance system, a violation may occur in the future. Because security and surveillance breaches are considered “public safety” issues, breaches can be costly and require administrative hearings with regulatory authorities. Owners should avoid all types of infringement and administrative action to ensure that the monetary value of the license itself is not diminished.


Another common breach of security and oversight is the lack of on-site service and maintenance records. As the surveillance system is considered “evidence” by nature, all records must ensure compliance. The surveillance record must contain details of each incident of access to the DVR system, including maintenance and routine inspections. Surveillance systems should be located in a securely locked room or cabinet. Ozarks Protective Services will be able to meet all your cannabis security needs related to surveillance, virtual surveillance, remote surveillance, and compliance.


The DVR Digital Recording System can often fail without proper notice to the owner or operations manager. The cameras appear to be “active” in the DVR monitoring system, but the hard drive behind the screens cannot record any activity. A phone call or text message may not be enough for compliance as an active alarming mechanism is needed for these errors. Passive alarms (email or web alerts) are not considered satisfactory in most states or jurisdictions.


As inventory is considered a commodity in most states, there must be a secure, fully functional security and surveillance system, as well as regular inspections and controls. All facility premises that prepare, process, weigh, package or support the transport or receipt of the product must be under video surveillance. This ensures that all operational problems (inventory loss, theft, workplace damage, etc.) are recorded and investigated as required by law. Failure to correctly register an active violation may result in additional fines, criminal or civil penalties, probation, or license revocation.


Best practices for marijuana companies are to ensure:


  • Your security and surveillance provider has a service level agreement (SLA).
  • The Premise diagram contains a camera map with camera numbers and visibility.
  • Time and date stamps should be accurate on each DVR system, and all cameras are in working condition.
  • The DVR system is locked and ensures a detailed access and maintenance history of the logs.
  • A list of approved personnel who have access to the DVR system is available at the facility.


For more tips and to help you implement one or more of these cannabis security practices, contact one of our cannabis security experts at Ozarks Protective Services and request a free consultation with your company.