Security Requirements for New York Cannabis Dispensaries

Why Do You Need Security?

Strong security measures at dispensaries are required by most states, including New York. You might not be able to open your store without them, and regulators will fine you and suspend or take your license away if you neglect to maintain them. They’re also generally a good idea for protecting your property, your inventory, your cash, and, most importantly, your people.

When to Start Thinking About Security?

Right from the start. Most states require you to submit a formal, exhaustive security plan and have all your security measures in place at least before opening your doors, if not at the time you submit your application for a license.

Specific New York Security Requirements

This is a high-level breakdown of the security requirements for adult-use dispensaries in New York. Please consult the state’s full regulations for a complete list of requirements. Also note that your city may have additional security requirements you need to satisfy.

New York Medical Dispensary Security Requirements

  • A perimeter alarm with alerts sent to an employee and a third-party monitoring company
  • Video cameras in all areas that may contain cannabis products
    • At entry and exit points, the dispensing facility shall angle cameras to allow for the capture of clear and certain identification of any person entering or exiting the facility
    • Continuous recordings during hours of operation and at any time that cannabis or medical cannabis product, in any form is handled, and motion activated recordings at all other times
    • Make available via remote access or login credentials for immediate viewing by the office or the office’s authorized representative upon request
    • All footage retained for at least 60 days
    • Failure notification system that provides an audible, text or visual notification of any failure in the surveillance system. The failure notification system shall provide an alert to the registered organization’s designated representative(s) within five minutes of the failure, either by telephone, email, or text message
  • Security alarms and video surveillance system must remain operational during a power outage for a minimum of eight hours
  • Limit access to any surveillance areas and keep all on-site surveillance rooms locked. 
  • Keep illuminated the outside perimeter of any dispensing facility that is operated under the registered organization’s registration. 
  • All cannabis and medical cannabis products must be stored in a secure area or location within the registered organization dispensing facility accessible to the minimum number of employees essential for efficient operation, to prevent diversion, theft or loss. 

New York – Concept Program for Conditional Adult Use Retail Security Requirements

  • Alarms – including a back-up alarm
    • Duress/panic/holdup alarm at sales counter
    • Glass break sensors 
    • Automatic Voice Dialer or Digital Dialer 
  • Motion Detectors 
  • Video Cameras with 24 Hour Recording
    • Ability to produce a still color photo at 9600dpi and date/time stamp 
    • Failure Notification system – that provides an audible, text or visual notification of any failure in the surveillance system 
    • Ability to remain operational during a power outage. Maintain all security equipment and recordings in a secure location. 
    • Connected to an onsite NVR within a small locking cage
  • Perimeter around the facility must be illuminated. (Landlord supplied exterior fixture may be inadequate for exterior camera function and may need to be supplemented (unless infrared cameras are required for the security system).
  • Doors with pinless hinges 
  • Secure network access 
  • Cannabis vault
  • Walls and ceiling – framed with heavy gage metal studs and joists with 9-gage expanded metal mesh installed on the non-secure side of framing with tamper proof fasteners. 
  • The expanded metal mesh shall be concealed by wall and ceiling finishes. 
  • Doors assemblies – maximum duty ANSI/SDI A250.8 LEVEL4 rated assemblies with handicapped accessible, cylindrical or mortise, Security Grade 1 locksets. 
  • Floors over occupiable space shall provide equivalent barrier as required for walls and ceilings and concealed in the floor assembly. (Note: Vault Requirements may vary based on Local and Municipal law)
  • Windows
    • Exterior glazing systems shall meet all requirements of the current NYS/NYC Energy Conservation Construction Codes and include laminated glazing treated with security film that will not allow the glazing to fall out when broken. 
    • Glazing units to be set into mullion system that cannot be disassembled from the exterior. 
    • Privacy screening, roll-down security gates, and use of ballistic glass may be required
  • Roll down gate – site specific

Developing Your Dispensary Security Plan

Your security plan should describe in detail how you will comply with state dispensary security regulations and in general how you will prevent cannabis products from being unlawfully diverted. A security consulting firm, working with your architect and general contractor, can help you put this documentation together.

Not Required, But Recommended

These security measures may not be required or suggested, but if you’re especially concerned about security and/or your dispensary is located in a high-crime area, you may want to consider them:

  • Security guards – armed and unarmed
  • Safe for storing cash
  • Access control panels – via fobs, keycards, or biometrics (more trackable and quicker than keys; your employees don’t want to have to use a key to get the back-of-house area a million times per day)
  • Barred windows
  • Bollards (to prevent thieves from using a vehicle as a battering ram)
  • Solink surveillance software – Stores your surveillance footage both locally on a simple QNAP drive and in the cloud. Its advanced search features make finding specific footage easy. Integrates with your POS system, allowing you to easily search for and view suspicious transactions, including unexplained returns and discounts.

Setting Up Your Security – General Advice

We encourage you to work with your security consulting firm and general contractor to buy and install the security materials you need. A lot of these security measures require heavy lifting and/or installation expertise.

Be sure to order your security products as soon as possible to avoid delays due to ongoing supply shortages.

Need Help? We’re Here for You If You Need It

Reach out to the Cure8 team if you need help planning, setting up, or maintaining your security system for your dispensary in New York.

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