As the medical marijuana industry ramps up nationwide and the recreational cannabis market booms in legal states, facility owners, managers, and consultants need to be ready with cannabis facility security strategies.
Thankfully, there are a growing number of online resources to help business owners achieve the cannabis security solutions needed for success. Start here with these tips for securing your grow operation from planning stages to product sales.
7 Cannabis Facility Security Tips
1. Know Your State or Local Regulations
Getting into the cannabis business, or growing an existing business, can be much harder than growers or processors initially expect. The fact of marijuana being legal to sell doesn’t mean anyone can just begin growing and selling it.
Each state has its own regulations and restrictions regarding zoning, growing, product standards, processing standards – and security.
With legalization comes regulation; states now have their own compliance regulations for cannabis security. These involve standards for security-related factors like:
- Access control
- Documentation of security operations
- Video surveillance monitoring and storage
- Alarm systems
- Storage systems
The above is just a small sampling. Make sure you’ve gotten a cannabis security consultation before you get too far along.
2. Build or Renovate Conscientiously
Wether you’re choosing a pre-existing building or completing a new cannabis facility construction, you should always have physical safety features in mind. Building design is your first line of defense, with strategic barriers, access points, and layout.
But aside from physical safety, you should also consider your building as part of the strategy for your business’s long-term security.
Your state’s regulations on growing and selling marijuana will likely change. Or else, your operation may simply change. Your business could grow from a medical cannabis cultivation facility into a full-scale operation with a dispensary on-site.
If your governing regulations change, or you need to shift your business model, flexible infrastructure is your friend.
A building you can work with, security systems you can adapt, production systems you can adjust, will all be critical to the long-term security of your business.
3. Get Marijuana Growers’ Insurance
To fully protect your assets and be prepared in case of loss, you’ll need to invest in marijuana growers’ insurance.
Issue of a policy will depend on whether your cannabis company meets prior requirements. These typically include:
- Having internal systems in your manufacturing facility such as electric and HVAC evaluated and approved
- Maintaining operational and compliant security systems
- Having appropriately secure storage systems in place
Do your research to make sure that you’re getting coverage tailored to your needs, whether live plant coverage, finished stock coverage, etc.
4. Hire Carefully
It’s likely that internal theft is just as – if not more – likely than external threats. The people working with your crops or products every day are the ones with the easiest access. And they’re usually under the least amount of suspicion.
Prevent theft from the inside by upholding rigorous standards. When you’re selecting your essential cultivation facility staff, you should always hire with caution. For starters, every grow facility employee should be thoroughly vetted and background checked.
Hiring is just one function of preventing employee theft in your grow operations. Step two involves implementing the proper internal security technology and procedures.
5. Maintain Appropriate Cannabis Facility Security Training and Operational Processes
When meeting clearly defined regulations means the difference between operating or being out of business, it’s crucial for employees to be well-trained. Operational processes must be standardized and adhered to at all times.
Security protocol must be followed just as closely. Employees should be trained on how to respond to everyday safety and security concerns. You should also conduct employee trainings for worst-case scenarios, like how to respond in an active shooter event.
You should also train your grow operations staff on how to detect and report suspicious behavior. Cultivating an environment of trust an integrity, as well as putting systems in place to report inappropriate behavior, will go a long way.
6. Implement General Indoor and Outdoor Security Measures
Indoor and perimeter security measures are required for your operation. These typically include:
- Video surveillance systems.
- Building access control systems
- Alarm and notification systems
- Network systems
- Security personnel/security guards
Building security will be critical to meet your state’s operational standards, but don’t neglect additional security measures beyond your building. You can also help protect your business with security features such as fences and signage, protective lighting, and defensive landscaping.
(If you need more cannabis security ideas, check out this extensive list from Cannabis Business Times.)
7. Choose The Right Cannabis Facility Security Systems
There are three main reasons why your cannabis facility needs a good security system:
- Your business compliance depends on it: You’ll need documented and operational security systems in place to pass inspection.
- You face greater risk for theft: marijuana grow operations are often easily detectible to those who know what to look for. And with the high cash value inside, they’re a desirable target. Good security makes your business safer from both intrusive theft and inside jobs.
- Good security makes for better business: With a high-quality security and camera systems in place, your operations will run more efficiently and safely, increasing your likelihood of success.
Take some time to asses your options before you choose a cannabis business security provider.
First, look for a security company with experience in cannabis facility security. This indicates they have working knowledge of your state and local cannabis security regulations, as well as a good understanding of the types of security threats you need protection against.
Next, make sure they deliver state of the art technology. Skimping on tech is not the way to go when you’re protecting a cultivation facility. And while you may expect to pay a lot for surveillance and security systems, you should always make sure you’re getting a fair price, and that the service and quality you receive is worth what you pay for it.
Mobile Video Guard Remote Video Surveillance for Cannabis Businesses
If you’re looking for medical marijuana security services contact Mobile Video Guard at (844) 732-358. We’ll be happy to talk with you about our experience, technology, and flexible cannabis facility security services.