Security Breaches in the Cannabis Industry: Avoiding Costly Mistakes


Currently, it’s undeniable that the cannabis industry is booming. However, due to their continuous rapid expansion, business owners in the industry must invest in adequate security measures to safeguard their products and staff.

In this article, we will walk you through the importance of security in the cannabis industry and how to ensure you don’t end up making a mistake that costs you dearly.

Cannabis Industry and the Importance of Security

The cannabis industry is a complex and controversial business industry. While we are discussing the security requirements and standards for businesses, you can also check out Cannabis Cultivation Security.

Every state with cannabis legalization has some form of security infrastructure, but how would businesses determine the level of protection required to safeguard their assets? Find out by reading on.

Security Standards

The federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act creates confusion and political uncertainty among cannabis businesses. Cannabis is classified differently in different states. Owing to this ambiguity, there are numerous state-specific requirements to follow. To comply with state rules, dispensaries must adhere to a range of safety standards.

Cannabis Businesses and the Level of Security

It should be evident that most cannabis businesses require a reasonable amount of protection. While the specific systems and processes required will vary by area and business kind (breeders, dispensaries, growers, and manufacturers frequently face varying restrictions based on how they handle cannabis), compliance standards necessitate compliance systems in general. Security should ensure that:

Security should ensure that:

  • Product is kept safe throughout storage, handling, and transport).
  • Inventory is tracked (meaning even the destroyed or faulty plants need to be monitored), and alerts are generated in the case of a security breach.
  • Digital records are preserved and secured.

Safety Regulations Regardless of the State of the Business

  • Alarm systems
  • Security cameras
  • Guards inside and out of the dispensaries
  • Security patrols at growing facilities
  • ID verification

Cannabis Security System and Standard Security Systems

Cannabis security systems aren’t particularly distinct from conventional security systems. While that is true considering software or hardware components solely by their aim, which is typical to prevent theft and maintain compliance.

Functionally, this results in cannabis security systems with:

Functionally, this result in cannabis security systems with  Controlled access is a crucial element of compliance; thus, cannabis companies typically employ robust variants of these systems.

  • Additional system documentation. This is another usual outcome of compliance with standards. Notably, a range of highly regulated businesses typically purchases identical systems, although these differentiators are typically correct when compared to common (less controlled) industrial systems.
  • Capabilities for broader surveillance than traditional security frameworks (higher video quality, more stored footage, and more cameras).

Digital Security Requirements for Cannabis Businesses

On the basis of thorough compliance rules, the following are the types of digital security measures most necessary for cannabis safety:

  • Construction of a video surveillance system
  • Construction of a video surveillance system
  • Installation of access control systems
  • Installation of alarm and notification systems
  • Installation of network systems (data transfer, digital Storage, etc.)

Physical Security Service Requirements for Cannabis Businesses

Certain regulations need both digital security systems and physical security services. Alternatively, cannabis enterprises frequently require security personnel, just as most stores do.

Licensed retailers hire security staff to provide security services. Section 3 of the Business and Professions Code requires any security employees employed or hired by a licensee to comply with Sections 11.4 and 11.5. These (BCC-specified) restrictions apply to working hours and mandate that a security guard be present at the retail outlet 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Not all businesses require this kind of protection, but if there is cannabis trade on a particular property, you should always research the local regulations.

Video Surveillance for Cannabis Businesses

Surprisingly, the specifics of video surveillance standards differ among states and locations, but the criteria for broad surveillance are universal. Ordinarily, cannabis video regulations contain accommodations for the following factors:

  • Cannabis exposure. (Cannabis is frequently required to be captured on video at each stage of the business process). Ordinarily, this is determined by regulations governing the number and placement of cameras.
  • Video quality. In Oregon, for example, indoor video footage must be at least 1.3 megapixels and 10 frames per second (fps) per camera, whereas outside video footage must be at least five fps. In Ohio, for instance, regulations stipulate that picture must be retained for a minimum of 30 days.
  • Video recording time. In several states, continuous feeding is required (i.e., the feed does not shut off within a few hours).
  • Video transmission monitoring. In numerous states, video broadcasts must be monitored around the clock, seven days a week.

Video surveillance systems are required to be developed in accordance with state and municipal laws.

Cannabis Business Security Requirements

Although AI-enhanced security systems can be handy, cannabis business owners still need to remember the basics, such as:

  • Put illumination all around your place of business. Because they do not like to be observed, criminals are far less inclined to conduct crimes in well-lit regions.
  • Invest in break-resistant and secure windows and doors for your home. In many instances, new glass is unnecessary.
  • Consider establishing a proactive and comprehensive security system as opposed to a standard, reactive system with window and door sensors. AI is used by proactive systems to detect and evaluate potential hazards and prevent crime from occurring in the first place.  Reactive systems anticipate an intrusion.
  • Establish a stringent and tightly regulated chain of possession for currency. For example, understanding the cash flow within your organization and safeguarding it at each step. Likewise, AI can assist with biometric identification.

Final Words

Maintaining the above-mentioned standards and requirements for your cannabis business can ensure that the business sustains a well-accepted security system. It also ensures that you do not end up incurring hefty amounts due to some easily avoidable mistake if you just maintain your security system’s standards.


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