Cannabis Remote Monitoring and Video Surveillance

By Bernhard Mehl
July 11, 2019

Today, remote surveillance systems are a major component of cannabis security. If you’re a veteran in the cannabis industry, then you may already be familiar with the role a modern remote monitoring system can play in keeping your product safe and secure. If you’re less experienced or looking to replace your current video surveillance system, then this guide can help you choose the right one for your business. 

Why do I need a cannabis remote monitoring system?

Many states require that cannabis growing operations and dispensaries have a video surveillance system. The exact requirements differ from state to state, but let’s look at California’s as an example. In California, individuals who own cannabis business must have a cannabis remote surveillance system that contains:

  • A camera with a minimum resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels that is capable of taking at least 15 frames per second
  • Cameras at all entrances and exits that record from indoors and outdoors 24/7, with no interruptions
  • Fencing and gates surrounding grow operations must be monitored at least 20 feet from the perimeter
  • All security camera footage must be kept in storage for a minimum of 90 days from the day it was filmed

Other states may impose variations on these requirements; for example, in some states, you must store security camera footage for one year. Be sure to check what exactly your state requires before you purchase and set up your system. 

Beyond state law, there are plenty of other reasons to invest in a cannabis remote video surveillance system. Protecting your assets is crucial in the cannabis industry. A surveillance system can protect you from theft and, more specifically, employee theft - a widespread issue among many cannabis businesses. If you have a large outdoor growing operation, then having a monitoring system can provide you with peace of mind. Your entire property is secured from all angles at all times. 

You may also want to invest in a system as liability protection. If an incident ever occurred on your property, then having video footage can help you efficiently communicate with your insurance company and with law enforcement about next steps. Furthermore, having a video monitoring system may even reduce your insurance premium. 

Finally, if you run an indoor growing facility, a surveillance system can help you take better care of your plants. Many monitoring systems offer ways to attach additional sensors that can detect changes in growing environment like temperature, pH levels, and humidity. If conditions change, your system alerts you, so you can grow bigger, happier, healthier plants. 

How much will it cost?

Compared to other methods of security, such as hiring a team of security guards, a remote monitoring system is fairly inexpensive. All you need to set up a system is an internet or WiFi connection and an electrical outlet. If your growing operation is located in a particularly rural area, then a cellular system may work better for you; all you need is a strong cell signal. 

The cost of your new system will vary based on your business’ size and the layout of your facility. Many security companies will design a custom system to fit your needs and budget, so work with a specialist to decide on a price that you can both agree on. 

What are some features of a good cannabis remote monitoring system?

A good cannabis remote surveillance system should, first and foremost, meet all of your state’s legal requirements. It should also be easy to set up and use; purchasing an intuitive system now means less headaches later. Look for a system that regularly communicates alerts to you so you always know what’s happening in and around your facility. Your system should provide peace of mind. A good system is also serviced by the company, not by you, when something goes wrong or needs to be updated. As a business owner, you have better things to do than learn the ins and outs of a security system. Finally, you should look for a system that will continue to operate even when the power goes out. Ideally, the system should come with some kind of battery back up for these occasions. 

Kisi’s access control system

For many cannabis businesses, Kisi’s cloud access control system fits all of the above criteria. You’ll still need cameras to record footage, but Kisi can add an extra layer of security. With Kisi, you can use your phone to unlock doors, so there aren’t any keycards that could be lost or stolen. Kisi’s system operates 24/7, is installed by professionals, and updates regularly on its own, so you don’t have to try to fix things yourself or wait to set up an appointment with a specialist. You can also integrate Kisi’s system with the platforms you already use to restrict access to a select group of people, open doors from anywhere in the world, automate your front desk, and track unlock logs. Kisi even offers users a 30-day trial window to test their system before making any purchases. If you’re looking for an affordable, modern, intuitive way to secure your facility, then Kisi’s access control system is a wise choice. 

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Additional resources

Still unsure? Here are some additional resources that may be helpful:

  • Stealth Monitoring is a video surveillance company that offers custom systems designed to fit each business’ unique needs. They have a wide variety of products and services and a real human being is always monitoring your video feed. These operators can scare off potential criminals and contact law enforcement even before any damage is done - huge benefits from one small security system. 
  • Arxys’ cameras come with motion detection for extra security. Their systems are also certified to comply with state cannabis regulations, so you won’t have to worry about reading individual laws. You can use an Arxys system with almost any IP camera, including one you already own. Proven to support both dispensaries and grow ops, Arxys is a great choice for cannabis business owners. 
  • Micro Grow provides greenhouse and indoor grow control systems that can easily coexist with a video surveillance system. Micro Grow offers 24/7 technical support, full sets of electrical plans with any installations, and customized settings to ensure that your plants get the attention they deserve.
  • Helix Security is a full service security firm that specializes in cannabis. They offer customized security solutions and business security training for both you and your employees. Their digital security systems are proven to work well with dispensaries and grow ops, so you can trust that they will understand your business’ unique security needs.

Sensaphone’s greenhouse remote monitoring systems are an ideal solution for indoor cannabis growers. Their system can send you alerts when it detects poor ventilation, high CO2 levels, water leaks, equipment failures, and more. Knowing about these issues early means you can fix them before they harm your plants, saving you time and money.

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.

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