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Starting a new business in any industry can be difficult. The sheer amount of advice can flow to you from a variety of resources. Who do you believe?

Each state is creating its own guidelines for regulating cannabis businesses. Federal mandates haven’t standardized the requirements yet, but video surveillance is high on every list.

Specific laws may state that surveillance must cover certain areas of the workplace, or establish how long video footage must be stored. They don’t specify how to set up a video surveillance system, which is where things can get a bit murky.

You may be confused by the different systems available to you. Should you go with do-it-yourself consumer cameras, when they’re so easy to find and buy? Are they good enough? Should you invest in professional surveillance systems from the start? Let’s dive into the differences to help you make up your mind.

Evaluating your needs

With the threat of criminal behavior rising, you’ll find many companies have entered the video surveillance market. A variety of do-it-yourself cameras are available; you can purchase entire systems at your local big box store. These systems are designed with averages in mind.

If you buy a DIY system, you must adapt to what is in the system. If you can’t get full coverage, you decide when to invest in additional equipment – and when to let things slide. This can leave your business exposed to potential risks that can have irreparable damage to your business.

Trusting a professional upfront may cost a bit more. Still, it allows you to look at your unique situation thoroughly, select the right equipment for your needs today, and plan for easy implementation of new equipment as your business grows. Security won’t be an afterthought. It will be designed to offer complete protection from the get-go.

Diving into the specifics

Security cameras for the consumer market will have smaller sensors and fixed focal lenses. They will give a wide-angle perspective to cover specific ranges. The trouble begins when you push the system to do more than designed.

A wide-angle lens may give you a good overall view of your facility. But if you zoom in on specifics, the graininess can distort the image enough to render it useless.

Professional video surveillance systems are designed specifically for the space it’s installed in. Each piece is selected to ensure it can do a complete job, given all circumstances.

Thinking long term

The trouble with many consumer video surveillance companies today is they are here today, gone tomorrow. The industry is currently saturated with lots of options for the consumer. They often design their equipment to work only within its own system – there’s no mixing with other systems.

If you purchase a system like this now, and the company goes out of business next year, you’ll be left to replace the entire system when it’s time to upgrade.

Trusting a professional means relying on them to create a system that works for you. You won’t have to worry about what camera to buy, or platform used for holding data; they will. And when it comes to upgrading as you grow and new technology is introduced, they will be the ones to ensure you are up to date and meet current regulations.

The difference between professional and consumer-grade video surveillance comes down to trust. As technology advances and your business grows, will you be able to add to your existing system, or have to start over from scratch?

Invest in a system today that will carry you forward as you change and grow.

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