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11/5/2018

Security Plan for Cannabis Dispensaries

A marijuana dispensary needs to have a security plan in place to protect the products on sale, the funds on site, and other valuable items kept in the facility. Having a marijuana security plan that’s scaleable is particularly important since the industry is quickly growing.

Dispensaries are in the spotlight frequently, and their security practices are heavily monitored compared to other businesses. Between the spotlight on the marijuana industry and the general security of your products and other assets, creating a security plan is a must.

Security Regulations for Marijuana Dispensaries

Start by familiarizing yourself with the security regulations that are in place for marijuana dispensaries. Unfortunately, these can vary by jurisdiction; but they should always be part of your marijuana security plan. Cannabis possession and use are illegal according to federal laws but regulations are handled on a state-by-state basis. Many states have specific requirements for video surveillance, including the minimum camera resolution, frames per second, being in use 24/7, and storing the footage for at least 90 days, if not a year.

Your state may also require that you secure the entrances to prevent any unauthorized access and that you have storage requirements for the marijuana. You will have to research the specific laws in your state or jurisdiction to see what type of security is required.

Best Security Practices

Regardless of the legal requirements for marijuana dispensary security in your jurisdiction, there are some best practices that you should always follow when it comes to security.

Access Control

One of the most important parts of any marijuana security plan is access control. As mentioned, many states actually require you to have a system in place. An access control system will ensure that only those who are authorized to be in the dispensary can enter the facility, it will track who enters using their credentials, and the system will provide protection during hours you are closed.

You can also use an access control system plan to stop unauthorized access to a specific area of your dispensary, such as a warehouse where you store extra products.

Extra Locks on Storage Space

While the entire dispensary needs some sort of access control system, you should have additional locks and access control in place for the storage area. In Canada, you are legally required to store cannabis, that is not on display, in a storage room that is locked and has controlled access.

Video Surveillance

Video surveillance is a legal requirement for marijuana dispensaries in many jurisdictions, you should always ensure that your plan includes the best monitoring option. Opt for the highest-quality video you can afford and select a system that includes sound, if possible. This will not only help you comply with regulations but also serve as a deterrent for potential thieves. Remote monitoring is extremely important, so you want your access control system and video surveillance to work together to allow you to monitor access logs and visual reports at all times.

Intrusion Alarms

You should also have basic security systems in place, such as intrusion alarms that activate when you are not in the dispensary. Since it is unlikely that someone is there 24/7, you should make sure you have an alarm system of some sort that will notify you and the authorities if someone breaks in or attempts to.

Background Checks

The most common loss of revenue in the marijuana industry is a result of employee theft; therefore, don’t forget to include background checks of employees in your marijuana security plan. This is particularly important for a controversial industry like marijuana sales, particularly because the product was illegal until recent years. A background check can minimize the risk that you accidentally give someone with bad intentions access to your dispensary.

Marijuana Transportation

As the marijuana industry expands so will its customer base, revenue and the inventory within dispensaries. Transporting cannabis, cash or other items puts your business at risk; therefore, every cannabis security plan must include armored transport, also referred to as marijuana vans.

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