Article by Isaiah Lewis-Harris
The cannabis industry has been quickly gaining momentum and growth in congress and local municipalities. Many states have begun to allow selling through dispensaries and to legally cultivate marijuana in grow houses. Much of the general public and governments are finally beginning to generally accept the positive medical applications that cannabis has on reducing pains and ailments within the human body. Its ability to ease a stressful mind and it’s capabilities in reducing anxiety levels. Doctors are now using cannabis to treat their patients to take a more “natural” holistic approach to treating their ailments. And with this, new cannabis dispensaries and grow houses are opening up all around us. In 2021 cannabis sales increased by 40% in the United States, and in 2020 sales increased astronomically by 67%. But what are these new business owners doing to secure their valuable assets?
Growers and dispensaries are beginning to recognize sales increases. The need for new retail buildings and warehouses to sell and cultivate products are on the rise, and security systems need to be at the front and center of these new owners business plans. Dispensing this leafy medicine is a huge responsibility and requires state of the art technology to make sure that it is not being abused, stolen or mistreated. Video surveillance remains the key factor in ensuring the safety of workers, property and product.
In the cannabis industry, there are strict rules and plenty of guidelines set forth for installing video surveillance within dispensaries and warehouses. First, Pennsylvania requires licensees to install a professionally monitored security and surveillance system that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and records all activity in images capable of revealing facial detail. This requires optimized resolution and the proper commercial installation. There are many commercial security cameras on the market today and each are designed for specific applications taking locational considerations into regard. Don’t be fooled into thinking home security systems are right for business use. (Read more about the difference between these systems in the link below)
Second, the state requires that all video surveillance be retained for a minimum of four years, and must be stored locally onsite as well as in the “cloud”. Utilizing a cloud network for a nominal monthly fee will help to keep constant access to these larger files. They will remain well secured off-site and most importantly will allow you to have immediate and live access whenever desired.
Lastly, Pennsylvania state law mandates placing fixed cameras that capture images of all individuals and activities in and around:
- Where workers load and unload medical marijuana products from transport vehicles,
- At entrances and exits from both indoor and outdoor vantage points,
- Five feet from the exterior of the facility for dispensaries and 20 feet from the exterior for cultivation facilities,
- In rooms with exterior windows, walls, roof hatches or skylights and storage rooms, and
- In all limited access areas, which would include any area where plant material in any form may be present.
These rules and guidelines were put in place to make sure the cannabis industry can continue to grow and flourish in a safe place for everyone. There are a lot of benefits to using cannabis, but if its security is not taken seriously, the industry can become a very mismanaged and dangerous place inviting theft, mishandling and misuse of your valuable commodity. Oliver Fire Protection & Security has the knowledge and understanding of this industry to make sure that your business stays safe and protected. Our professionals always put your business first and will work closely with you to find the right solution for business needs. Call with any questions you may have on the best practices for installing a professional security system or to receive a free no obligation consultation!