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Why do you need a security plan? It seems obvious – for security. You need protection from criminal behavior. You need to protect your data. You need to secure your assets.

But it goes deeper than that.

Cannabis businesses are some of the most heavily regulated industries. They must follow stringent security laws and regulations. Because policies are still being formed on a state-by-state basis, formulating a plan with succinct security measures isn’t an easy thing to do.

Yes, you need to meet all state and local laws. But how you choose to go about it is often vague at best.

Does your state mandate a standard format for your security plan? Some do.

You will find pre-made security plan templates you can buy online, but they can be generic at best. You’ll have to customize them according to your local requirements, and to meet your specific needs.

The more time you put into it now, the more it will apply to your specific business. And the more integrated the security measures will be. Where do you start?


This might throw you off-guard at first, but we consider this to be one of the most critical sections. It’s not one you should create at the beginning, but instead should be a reference to all that follows. This gives you a chance to capture the purpose of the security plan and list your objectives. It identifies each section of your plan and provides a brief description. The act of pulling it all together can often help you identify holes in your plan. This is a living document, one you should change and update frequently.

Building design

You can’t secure what you can’t see. Thoroughly describe every aspect of your layout, including retail areas, grow space, warehouse, parking lot, surrounding area, and neighborhood. Add drawings and photographs to highlight things like fencing and landscaping.

Locks and alarms

Most states require commercial-grade locks on all external doors and an alarm system monitored and managed 24/7. Refer to your state’s specific rules for more information. Include details on locks and alarms, security company details, and relevant diagrams and layouts in your own plan.

Surveillance system

Most states require security cameras covering all critical areas of your business. This can include entrances/exits, restricted areas, POS stations, and anywhere cannabis products are stored. They also provide specific requirements on how these cameras operate, and how long you must keep footage. DIY models may seem less expensive initially, but will they support you as your business grows?

Transportation security

Are your grow facilities separate from your retail locations? How will you move product and cash to and from your business? Many states list specific requirements for incorporating security into your deliveries. Include things like:

  • What vehicle you’ll use for deliveries
  • How many people will be in the vehicle
  • Camera installation and how they are positioned
  • How cannabis products will be stored

You’ll need a system to log every action. This is also where you’ll have to pay attention to local zoning laws to ensure you meet local rules related to safe transportation.

Access control

Many states have specific rules about who can enter. You’ll need a plan for verifying new customers or patients, and restricting access to people who don’t meet those requirements.  Be sure to have a thorough plan for check-in, and have the appropriate personnel on hand.

Security training

Does this all seem a bit overwhelming? Imagine how your employees must feel. This is where more documentation matters. Employees should be aware of all security policies, procedures, and measures relevant to their role. This is an ongoing process. You can test them occasionally to ensure they understand their roles. Since cannabis is a high-risk business, don’t leave anything uncovered. Train them on how to manage their daily jobs as well as what to do in case of a robbery.

IT security

States don’t really focus on clear IT procedures, but this is one area you shouldn’t leave to chance. For more personalized advice, reach out and contact us. What we recommend for IT security includes:

  • Protecting all POS terminals from hacking and malware
  • Using strong password protocol
  • Segmenting your network to further protect critical data
  • Ongoing training for all employees about cybersecurity

Business can be a little overwhelming with so many different roles. If you need help with anything security-related, we’re always here to help.

For IT Strategy, Security and Compliance, or Help Desk Services, reach out to us at Cannabis Technology Partners 360-450-4759.