Security is a challenge with the Cannabis industry. Both dispensaries and growth facilities are a cash-heavy and relatively new business with different regulations in different states. There’s the threat of crime from savvy criminals who know you deal in cash and even your own employees. Finding the right cannabis security solutions is crucial, so here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Understand your local requirements.
Each state has its own set of laws for cannabis dispensaries and growth facilities. And in some cases, local governments within the state have different laws; for example, minimum camera resolution, length of time recordings are saved, on-site security guards, and detailed diagrams of the surveillance system. Your surveillance system must be secure – and compliant.
In addition, most states require multiple cameras to ensure every section in the facility is properly monitored. However, there are cameras that can monitor larger areas, like 360 cameras, which means you may not have to install more than 1 camera per area. Since fewer cameras are needed, less wire is needed, and less units need to be installed. This can vastly lower your expenses.
2. Choose a cannabis security solution that is scalable and flexible.
As your business grows, your needs may change. Expanding facilities, more employees, a change in government regulations – all of these things can impact your security. To ensure that you have the best security solution at all times, find one that is adaptable to your changing needs.
3. Look beyond the government regulations.
Meeting government regulations shouldn’t be your only guide when choosing cannabis security solutions. Some states are new to the market and might be less restrictive on security than others. And even those with tight restrictions are more focused on your product than your cash. Use regulations as a guideline, but keep in mind that your dispensary may need more than the minimum requirements.
4. Recognize that criminals want the highest return.
Protecting the cannabis plants is important, but savvy criminals are much more interested in what’s in your dry storage. If they are going to break in, they want the most value for the risk.
5. Protect against inside jobs.
In the cannabis industry, the majority of crimes are inside jobs. Yet, many businesses spend more effort protecting against break-ins. The best cannabis security solution mitigates risk equally well from inside and outside jobs.
6. Keep your surveillance system visible.
Ideally, your surveillance system serves to prevent crime from even happening. One of the best deterrents for would-be criminals, and especially those who work for you, is a robust surveillance system. Make sure everyone knows and can see that you mean business when it comes to security.
7. Early detection and real-time warnings are critical.
The presence of security will ward off many criminals, but if it doesn’t, then your system should have measures in place to catch it – and notify you or a manager immediately. Security features like video surveillance monitoring can quickly identify a threat, activate alarms, and send out warnings immediately.
8. Identify potential blind spots in your cannabis security solutions.
When it’s time to install your surveillance system, be sure that the security contractor knows where your bulky items, equipment, and other potential obstructions are. Your cameras should be placed to maximize the viewing area. If they are blocked by an obstruction, they are ineffective and non-compliant.
9. Store a backup of video recordings off-site.
Video surveillance systems can store data onsite in DVRs, offsite at remote locations, or both. The risk of storing surveillance footage only at your dispensary is that it could be tampered with. Smart criminals, especially those on the inside, can figure out where the DVRs are – and destroy the evidence before you get to it. IP camera hosting is a feature that allows you to monitor your security from anywhere.
10. Find a company focused on working with the cannabis industry.
Because this industry is still in its early stages, not all security companies are familiar or have experience working with cannabis dispensaries. The dynamics are unique, and the regulations are ever-changing. Choose a security business that recognizes this and knows the industry. Pro-Vigil offers full-service cannabis security solutions. Contact Pro-Vigil to learn more.