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One of the fastest-growing industries is the legal marijuana market, valued at $9.1 billion in 2020 with an expected annual growth rate of more than 26 percent over the coming years.

Forty-six states currently have legalized marijuana in some capacity. Only four states still consider all aspects of marijuana to be completely illegal.

Rules are changing fast. But not quick enough to create legitimate guidelines for how to grow, sell, and secure cannabis without substantial risk. According to a Wharton School of Business Public Policy Initiative:

In the absence of being banked, one in every two cannabis dispensaries were robbed or burglarized – with the average thief walking away with anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 in a single theft.

If you open a cannabis business today, security responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders. Video surveillance should become your new best friend. According to the required state laws and regulations, everything needs to be recorded to provide complete protection for patients, customers, and employees. This includes both the cultivation facility as well as customer service areas.

Keep in mind that video surveillance isn’t as easy as ordering a few cameras from Amazon. Buying a DIY system can give you a false sense of security. Every state has specific mandates for the techniques used, meaning customization is almost always necessary.

  • Most states require surveillance cameras to record continuously 24/7 year-round.
  • California currently requires footage to be kept for 90 days, while other states push retention requirements to as long as a year.
  • Many states offer minimum camera resolution requirements, and define both camera and storage compatibility.
  • Video placement also varies by state, including indoor and outdoor requirements, on how to light each location.

One of the biggest mistakes a new cannabis business owner can make is to fail to create a security plan. There’s a lot to moving into this industry, applying for licenses, and ensuring you’re set up legitimately in the eyes of the government. Plus, these rules change all the time.

When you’re focused on building a business, you’re concerned with all aspects of growing and selling your product. Massive changes to security regulations can quickly become overwhelming, opening up another door to potential problems. And if a customer or employee is injured because of criminal behavior on your property, you’re liable.

If you surround yourself with professionals who are there to stay on top of new rules as they are written, you’re more likely to thwart criminal activity before it happens.

Relying on DIY equipment as you start out might seem like a smart move to save money, but if it leaves you open to criminal behavior, it may cost you a lot more down the road.

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