Home » What You Need to Know About Cannabis Security Regulations

What You Need to Know About Cannabis Security Regulations

Posted by Mark Mariotti on Feb 6, 2019

cannabis industry differs from most industries — aside from the fact it’s
marijuana, a highly sought-after drug — in that it’s cash-heavy. Regardless if
you manage a small retail dispensary or a multi-store company, most states
mandate cannabis security like remote video surveillance
with specific requirements. Before digging into the rules, here’s a quick look
at what’s prompting the need for dispensary security.

Explosive Growth of the
Marijuana Industry Drives Need for Cannabis Security

California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in
1996, it wasn’t until 2010 the industry took off. Its massive growth is
apparent in “Deep Dive: A Look at America’s
Marijuana Evolution
” infographics. Between 2010
and 2017, 17 states legalized its use for medical reasons and eight states and
Washington, D.C. approved it for recreational use.

the skyrocketing legalization of cannabis comes opportunities for theft, both
by employees and outsiders. Even with the legalization of marijuana, it’s still
a drug. Individuals with harmful intentions will do anything to obtain it
illegally whether it’s for their own use or to make a buck. They will go after
customers leaving the dispensary, distributors delivering the product, or
robbing the store. That’s why each state has exhaustive directives covering
everything from camera resolution and camera location to security guards
and remote video surveillance.

Dispensary Security
Requirements Vary by Location

To make
matters more challenging, the ordinances vary by state. For example, the
Modesto, California Code of Ordinances, Sec. 10-3.706 includes the following in
its security requirements:

  • Specific floor plan requirements
  • Locked storage
  • City Manager approval of security plan
  • Approved security guards on-site 24 hours a day

only does cannabis security require on-site personnel, but also cameras. These,
too, have detailed requirements. California does not have a single ordinance
for dispensary security
that applies to the entire state. It has local ordinances like Modesto’s.

requires the following for surveillance cameras:

  • Must be at high quality (HD) to determine the identity of
    individuals present.
  • Must be remote and real-time running 24/7.
  • Must monitor the interior, main entrance, and all entries
    and exits.
  • Video surveillance must be remotely accessible by the Chief
    of Police or designee.
  • Footage needs to be compatible with city’s hardware and
  • Dispensary must retain video surveillance for 45 days.

where it gets confusing and interesting. Pasadena, California Code of
Ordinances Sec. 5.78.160 has a 90-day video retention requirement. Oregon is
the same, but Canada’s retention requirement is one year. Oregon also requires
video back-ups to a location different from the live video surveillance

states have mandates with a minimum resolution, frames per second, and
perimeter distance coverage (may include the fence, parking lot, and
surrounding areas). It may also state video must be Internet Protocol (IP)

mandates video surveillance have adequate lighting that the dispensary can
modify to add motion control sensors. Another cannabis security regulation
demands systems include automated back up to another power source that can
operate independently for up to 48 hours.

The cannabis
market will continue to grow exponentially and with it comes many security
regulations. Clearly, cannabis video surveillance
alone show how the requirements vary by
geographic location. With Stealth’s proactive security solutions, you get a
team of trained operators who watch your dispensary or farm in real time, to
catch events as they happen. We can design a system to help keep your
investments safe and compliant with your state’s laws.

the live video monitoring experts who know the regulations do the heavy lifting
for you. To learn more about remote video surveillance and other dispensary
security solutions, please contact us.