Importance of Security in the Cannabis Industry

There is no denying that the cannabis market is a roaring industry at this moment. With its continued rapid growth, business owners must invest in the proper security to protect their products and employees.

The Importance of Safety in the Cannabis Industry

Every state with cannabis legislation has some security infrastructure, but how do companies know what protection is needed to secure their possessions? Read on to find out.

Security Requirements

At the federal level, cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the Substance Control Act, creating political uncertainty and confusion among cannabis companies. In terms of states, the classification of cannabis varies from state to state. Due to this uncertainty, there are many regulations to follow that differ from state to state. Dispensaries must meet a variety of safety requirements to meet state regulations.

What Amount of Security Does a Cannabis Business Need?

It should be obvious that most cannabis companies need a fair amount of security. While the details of the systems and protocols required will vary by location and type of business (breeders, dispensaries, growers, and manufacturers often face different regulations depending on how they handle cannabis), compliance standards generally require compliance systems. The security should guarantee that:

  • Access to marijuana is regulated.
  • The product is safe (during handling, storage, and transport).
  • Inventory is tracked (which means even faulty or destroyed plants must be under surveillance), and that notifications are sent in the event of a security incident.
  • Digital records are kept and protected.

Safety Regulations That Exist no Matter What State Your Business is in

  • Security cameras
  • Alarm systems
  • ID verification
  • Guards inside and outside of dispensaries
  • Security patrols at cannabis-growing facilities

How do Cannabis Security Systems Differ from Standard Security Systems?

Cannabis security systems are not necessarily different from standard security systems in terms of their hardware or software components; they are only distinguished by their purpose, which is often to protect against theft and ensure compliance.

In functional terms, that brings about cannabis security frameworks having:

  • More complete surveillance capacities than standard security frameworks (with more cameras, higher video quality, and more stored footage).
  • Control of access to the most robust building. Regulated access is an essential component of compliance, which generally means that cannabis companies have strong versions of these systems.
  • More system documentation. This is also a typical result of alignment with compliance standards. It is worth noting that a variety of highly regulated industries generally purchase similar systems, but compared to standard (less regulated) industrial systems, these differentiators are usually accurate.

What Digital Security System Does Cannabis Need?

These are the types of digital security systems most needed for cannabis safety and are examples for everyone based on extensive compliance regulations:

  • Video surveillance system building
  • Access Control Systems
  • Alarm and Notification Systems
  • Network Systems (Digital Storage and Data Transfer, etc.)

What Physical Security Services Does Cannabis Need?

In addition to digital security systems, some regulations also require physical security services. In other words, cannabis companies often need security guards, just as retailers generally do.

Security personnel are hired to provide security services to licensed retailers. All security personnel hired or employed by a licensee must comply with Sections 11.4 and 11.5 of Section 3 of the Business and Occupation Code. These regulations (specified by BCC) apply to working hours and require a security guard at the retail store 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not all companies require this level of security, but if you sell cannabis on your premises, you should always investigate the requirements of your area.

Do You Need Access Control for Cannabis Safety?

This question is simple: yes, access control is almost certainly needed for cannabis safety.
Each state requires documented standards for regulation of access to cannabis and its enforcement. In addition, access control adds security, so you may need to keep your product safe in addition to adhering to compliance standards.

What Are the Video Surveillance Requirements for the Cannabis Business?

The details of video surveillance requirements, surprisingly, vary from state to state and from location to location, but general surveillance requirements are universal. Cannabis video requirements generally include provisions for the following considerations:

  • Cannabis visibility. (often cannabis needs to be recorded on videotape at every stage of the business process). This is usually determined by regulations regarding the number and location of cameras.
  • Video quality. For example, in Oregon, indoor video footage should be at least 1.3 mp, ten fps per camera, and outdoor footage should be at least five fps. Another example: in Ohio, regulations require that images be stored for at least 30 days.
  • Video recording time. In many states, you need to feed continuously (that is, the feed doesn’t turn off after a few hours).
  • Video transmission monitoring. In many states, video broadcasts need to be monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In general, video surveillance systems should be designed strictly per state and local regulations.

How Can Cannabis Companies Stop Employee Theft?

According to the Marijuana Retail Report, “up to 90% of losses reported by pharmacies are due to employee theft.” This is a crucial cannabis safety issue that employers should seriously consider. Luckily, many of the same systems that protect against third-party theft can also reduce the risk of employee theft. Certain buildings and video surveillance systems can be configured to restrict access and record unauthorized access.

In addition, cannabis companies need to be particularly thorough with their HR capabilities to reduce the potential for problems in the first place. Many of these features are compliance requirements and often include:

  • Taking the necessary precautions during the booking process to ensure a thorough background check is done on each employee..
  • Document service procedures (especially regarding product handling).
  • Limited discounts for employees (and their friends and family).
  • Comprehensive training on operational safety.

How Can I Take the First Step Towards Cannabis Safety?

This is indeed a scary topic. Cannabis safety is complex given the complexity of compliance at the state and local levels (not to mention the rapid nature of change and the looming prospects of federal regulation).

By working with an expert system integrator, you can be assured that cannabis is safe. At Ozark Protective Services, we help cannabis businesses ensure that security systems comply with regulations – and we make sure your business stays safe. Ozarks Protective Services are the leading experts in Missouri Cannabis Security. We have over 100 years of Police Officer experience, 25 years of Cyber Security, and extensive knowledge in METRC for compliant transportation services.