Electronic Security for Marijuana Stores and Grows

As the marijuana industry thrives and states start following the lead of other states like California, there are ever-changing surveillance requirements for Cannabis businesses and growers. Not following the regulations can place an entire company in jeopardy and result in fines or legal complications.

If you have found yourself here, chances are you’re looking to get compliant and learn more about electronic security for your Cannabis-based business. You have made it to the right place because, in this article, we will discuss the value and peace of mind an electronic system can offer your business, all while adhering to state legal obligations.

Defining Electronic Security

The electronic deterrent systems would include things like cameras and alarms which make a visual or audible statement to wrong-doers that your business is covered. There are various forms of these systems, and we help companies to determine which are best depending on their unique needs and locations. We do this through site surveys and consultations, so you know what systems will provide the most asset protection.

When you have an electronic system installed by a provider, we will then bring our seasoned and trained staff to monitor those systems so you are not left with state of the art security that you cannot work or manage. First Security Services contracts with personnel that have worked in the military and security fields for years. Our Officers know how to operate and maintain multiple electronic systems which give business owners and growers a level of comfort they haven’t yet experienced.

Video Surveillance and Electronic Security Requirements

Each state has set up their own monitoring requirements for businesses who grow, process, transport, or sell Cannabis products. We won’t go into the laws of our neighboring states, but here is a look at the California requirements.

  • Camera Resolution - Camera resolution has to be 1280x720 pixels and reveal 15 frames per second at a minimum.
  • Cameras and Storage - There must be cameras placed at all entrances and exits into the business. The cameras must be able to capture both the interior and exterior of those spaces, which usually means at least four cameras minimum. They must capture images 24-hours a day and 7-days a week and cannot be activated via motion detection. The cameras and the storage of footage must be internet connected and also generate no less than 13 GB of surveillance data each day. The footage must be stored for a minimum of 90-days on site (no cloud storage allowed).
  • Remote Access - All security footage must have the ability to be accessed remotely by the business owner or licensee that owns the content.

Alarms and Burglary Alerting

  • By California law, alarms must be installed at all marijuana business and dispensaries in the event there is a break-in. These alarms will include door and window break sensors, motion detectors that trigger an alert, all of which should be protected from elements such as heat and smoke.

The Growing Problem with Electronic Security

  • The most significant hurdle for most businesses with their state Cannabis security requirements is the storage of the data they are required to hold on to. If you have ever tried to upload a video to youtube or gotten an “almost full” notice on your computer because you have images and video on it, you might understand this concept quickly.
  • Imagery and video require a mountain of storage capabilities, making it not only challenging for businesses but also expensive. Since companies are required to hold on to the footage onsite for 90-days, which cannot be stored on a cloud server, business owners often wonder how to do it all. First Security Services can assist in how this is done effectively and for a feasible cost. We know how to work with your surveillance system to store and manage this, so you remain compliant with California regulations.
  • New technologies are making storage challenges easier, and we stay up to speed on what those technologies are so you’re not bogged down by all the technology changes. We also stay up to speed on the changing laws and regulations, so that responsibility doesn’t only rest on your shoulders, freeing you up to work your business.
  • Your business insurer might also require additional surveillance management or keeping data longer, so be sure to understand these requirements beyond your state regulations. You don’t want to risk losing your insurance coverage due to these kinds of technicalities.

A Note About City by City Requirements

  • Most business owners will turn to state regulations on security requirements to ensure they are following the laws. Unfortunately, that might not always cover you. Not only are marijuana businesses required to uphold state laws, but they also have to be compliant with their specific city regulations.
  • For example, in the city of Costa Mesa, the video pixels have to be rated at 1280x1024 resolution. The state only requires 1280x720 pixels, which would make a business non- compliant. You might only learn this after you’ve submitted your plans to local law enforcement (not all cities require this but Costa Mesa does) only to discover that your cameras and systems aren’t capturing what is required by city regulations. This might mean you have to upgrade the system you just purchased.

Electronic Security Forecast

  • Most businesses are only looking to get “compliant,” meaning they want to spend just enough to cover themselves legally. We would like to offer you some considerations regarding the growth of your business and the forecast of the marijuana industry.
  • When choosing what kind of electronic security system to go with, we encourage our clients to consider where their business will be in the next three, five, and 10-years. We understand that meeting the needs of customers and state regulators ‘today’ is a priority if you ever plan to get your business off the ground, but chances are you don’t want this business to be a drop in the hat, but rather, a long-term success. This industry is a multi-billion-dollar one, and there is a lot of room in the market to do well.
  • Think long-term and invest in your business today because chances are your company is going to be wildly successful, and state laws are not likely to get “looser.” In fact, chances are the state will make changes to laws and regulations for the Cannabis industry as it thrives. You might be required to offer more security measures in the future. First Security Services can provide consultations to businesses that have plans to grow and get bigger, so ask us for a discussion about what these measures might look like for your company.
  • There is a lot to think about in regards to your security plan for your established or new Cannabis business. No matter if you’re serving medical customers, recreational customers, or providing the product to the distributors, you’ll need to have all your bases covered in your electronic security plan. We can help you manage your current system, make sure you’re compliant and stay up to speed on all the laws in your area. Call or connect with First Security Services today if you’re ready to take your Cannabis business to the next level and need back-up.