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Cannabis businesses have strict surveillance rules to follow. Each state formulates its own specific rules, but in general:

  • Surveillance cameras must cover all areas where cannabis is cultivated, processed, stored, or sold. This includes entry and exit points, cash registers, and areas where cannabis products are handled.
  • Cameras must provide high-definition resolution to capture facial features and activities within the business clearly.
  • Video recordings must be retained for a specific time period, often ranging from 30 to 90 days.
  • Businesses must have backup systems to ensure surveillance footage is not lost due to technical failure or power outages.

In other words, cannabis businesses must monitor their surveillance system to ensure it’s working and in good condition or risk violation.

What are the most common violations?

  • Security camera functionality – every camera is not set up in a way to have a clear, unobstructed view of all onsite activity.
  • Records applicable to the surveillance system are not maintained or available on the premises.
  • Cameras are no longer in operation.
  • The licensed operator doesn’t meet the specific guidelines required by cannabis regulation. They don’t have proper documentation for the surveillance system, nor do they track authorized employees and service personnel who have access to the system.

Do you see any of these mistakes in how you currently handle your surveillance system?

Surveillance and security can feel overwhelming with so many complicated rules at all government levels. Yet you can’t afford to let it go by the wayside. A step-by-step plan is your best road to success.

1. Install a quality security alarm system and 24/7 video surveillance

Installing a security and surveillance system is mandatory, but your approach is up to you. Don’t skimp on this part and attempt DIY tactics. This is where most business owners go wrong. Criminals observe and gauge a system before they try to enter. If your system has weaknesses, they’re more likely to get in. You want a system that is properly functioning and maintained, actively monitored, and alerts you to potential problems.

2. Visitor management systems

Because of the security risk within a cannabis business, it’s important to establish a system that tracks all persons accessing your facility, including authorized persons, suppliers, and visitors. This gives you a record of everyone who enters or has access to an area. It also gives you a log to follow in the event of a security breach.

3. Limited-access security

State regulations require certain areas of a cannabis business to be protected by a commercial-grade lock to prevent diversion, theft, and loss. Areas at risk can include storage, cultivation, or manufacturing facilities. Access to these areas should be limited to authorized personnel, with all visitors being escorted at all times. This is where surveillance systems should be well thought out to ensure your facility is always secure.

4. Documentation

Accurate records will help you comply with state and federal regulators. When in doubt, keep the documentation. This should include security plans, security incidents, employee training, access control, and video surveillance records.

5. Train employees and create a security culture

Security starts at the top. Employees mimic what they see – create the environment you wish to have in place. This means establishing a well-thought-out employee training program with continual education opportunities. Be sure they know what to do in case of incidents. Employees should be encouraged to ask questions and report any incidents without repercussions. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

6. Review your security and surveillance protocols regularly

Regulations change periodically as this industry continues to grow. To avoid violations, ensure you understand and stay up-to-date with all new protocols. This means conducting periodic security audits to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities. This is a working document, one that changes over time. A well-designed security plan is essential for business growth over time.

Do you have the bandwidth to meet changing and growing regulations? Is your security and surveillance protocol ensuring your safety for you, your employees, your customers, and your business growth? If not, it’s time to take control.

Simply asking the questions is a good starting point. They can help you find the answers necessary to improve your position and keep you safe and secure from the top threats facing cannabis businesses today.

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