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Draconian Security Requirements for Cannabis Businesses Require a Smarter, More Cost-effective Solution

Coast-to-coast, medical marijuana markets are expanding at an accelerated pace. Now legal in 36 states, the latest Grand View Research shows that the U.S. legal cannabis market is valued at USD 11.9 billion as of 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 24.1% from 2019 to 2025. The U.S. is expected to be the key driver of its growth due to the number of states working to legalize its recreational use. The North American segment itself accounts for 95% of the global cannabis market, with the U.S. alone accounting for 90% of the North American segment. 

The need for security

Such sweeping legalization is underscoring the demand for cannabis and cannabis-infused products. As a result, dispensaries, cultivators, and distributors are popping up everywhere, heightening the need to secure and protect their assets. Anytime a manufacturing-based industry sees dramatic upticks in growth, the demand for security systems grows as well. These include intrusion alarms, video surveillance, and armored vehicle transportation. Major international cannabis distributors are currently under licensing agreements, making security an essential component of their business operation. Transporting marijuana from growers to dispensaries and brick and mortar shops pose real physical security threats. High value and demand for cannabis products means it is an attractive target for criminals looking for a profitable score. 

What are the requirements?

Every state has a different set of mandates with specific video surveillance system requirements for cannabis dispensaries and cultivators. California, for example, requires a minimum camera resolution of 1280 x 720 (720p) pixels and recorded in no less than 15 frames per second. Cameras and storage must be IP (Internet Protocol) compatible and situated at all entrances and exits that can continuously record indoor and outdoor space 24 hours a day. In addition, fencing and gates for cultivation facilities must be monitored at least 20 feet beyond the perimeter. Storage is another key challenge cannabis businesses face from such state mandated surveillance requirements. The footage recorded and generated under California’s specs total approximately 13 GB of data per day. Most states require cameras to record without interruptions 24 hours a day, all year long. Further complicating matters is retention time. California requires cannabis businesses to store surveillance recordings for a minimum of 90 days. Insurance and legal coverage may also require businesses to meet the industry standard of a full year retention. As such, overcoming these challenges requires a scalable and flexible storage solution that is also cost-effective. The explosive growth of this industry is highlighting the need for intelligent enterprise surveillance systems that can provide the capacity, scalability, and remote monitoring capability needed to operate large production facilities. Getting the most from these systems requires a robust storage solution that scales as your business grows. 

Frequent amendments to surveillance requirements

As the industry continues to mature and saturate the market, state mandated requirements will continue to roll out with stricter ordinances. As new and unanticipated scenarios occur, cannabis businesses should expect frequent updates and amendments to ordinances. Best practice standards and minimum requirements will likely become stricter rather than lenient. Businesses should prepare for the likelihood of surveillance footage retention time becoming standardized to a full year, nationwide. This aligns with the requirements of most law enforcement agencies so even if your state is currently only mandating 45-90 days of retention, it is wise to assume that this will change to a full year. More importantly, simply storing an archive of surveillance footage will not be enough. Authorities have now begun issuing fines to businesses that are unable to actually retrieve archived video. You must ensure that every frame of every video is protected, readily accessible, and without data corruption. 

The solution: Remote Guard Live Monitoring

Although the stringent ordinances rolled out by cannabis-legal states may seem unnecessarily draconian, retailers of high-value products and operators of manufacturing-based businesses will pointedly underscore the importance of security. Currently, one of the best solutions for proactive security with the highest cost-to-benefit ratio in the industry is the Remote Guard live monitoring system. This is the same technology implemented by the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security for surveillance and monitoring and has become a top consideration for businesses and government agencies with facilities that house high-value products and critical assets. Many of the top cultivators have begun layering this system as a proactive measure on top of their existing posture. Although it is not mandatory, there can be huge cost savings compared to hiring physical guards. More importantly, Remote Guard systems are protected from common human errors such as fatigue, sleeping on the job, inattentiveness, etc. 

Expedited response times

The Remote Guard system can significantly reduce false alarms, prompt immediate live audio warnings, and speed up police dispatch by scanning and auditing each alarm signal that your existing alarm detects. This system combines the latest in digital security technology with 24/7 professional monitoring and live audio communications. It collects audio and visual data, checks for irregularities to secure the facility perimeter, and provides you with mobile access to live and recorded audio and video on all mobile devices. Live audio announcements provide additional deterrents to theft and trespassing. This comprehensive intervention solution can increase the likelihood of priority police response, minimize losses, and increase apprehension rates. 

If you want to learn more about staying compliant and protecting your assets with the latest cost-effective innovations in surveillance technology, we can help. Call us today: (888) 393-3672