The legal marijuana industry is evolving rapidly, cannabis stores are particularly profitable. The cannabis market in the US had sales of around $30 billion in 2022. Therefore, it is anticipated that cannabis retail establishments are more likely to be burgled because of their high revenues.
To safeguard the products, the funds on-site, and other valuable assets in the establishment, a marijuana dispensary must have a security plan in place. Given how quickly the marijuana market is expanding, having a scalable security plan is essential.
The security procedures at dispensaries are closely scrutinized in comparison to other businesses because they are frequently in the spotlight. Considering the attention on the marijuana industry and the overall protection of your goods and other assets, developing a security plan is crucial.
If you want to operate a cannabis dispensary in Maryland, you’ll need to make sure it’s secure, with features like security cameras, alarms, and secured cannabis product storage. The prevention of theft and diversion must also be addressed through your procedures.
The Need For Security In General
The need for cannabis and items infused with cannabis is being emphasized by such widespread legalization. Because of this, dispensaries, growers, and distributors are mushrooming all over, which increases the demand for security and protection of assets. Security system demand always increases whenever a manufacturing-based industry experiences a sharp upswing in growth. These include video surveillance systems, alarms, and armored vehicle transportation.
Currently, major cannabis distributors are bound by licensing agreements, which makes security a crucial facet of their operations. There are significant physical security risks involved in moving marijuana from growers to dispensaries and retail locations. Cannabis products are very valuable and in high demand, making them a lucrative target for burglars looking for easy money.
Dispensary Security Requirements
A licensee must construct their premises to prevent unauthorized entry.
The premises must:
- Medical cannabis inventory must be kept in a secure room made of concrete or another equivalent building material. No part of the room may be next to a building’s outer wall.
- The secure area will only have one entrance door that is equipped with a cipher/chip, or equivalent-activated keyed lock. A door cannot be seen from the building’s public areas.
- One hour prior to business opening and one hour after business shut, all medical marijuana will be kept in a secure room.
Maryland Cannabis Security Cameras
Maryland now has an excellent quality medical cannabis program that is just getting started. Making sure medical cannabis is accessible to patients in a secure and efficient manner is the aim of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), which oversees and creates policies, procedures, and regulations for the Maryland medical cannabis industry.
Video Surveillance Requirements
The current video surveillance regulations in Maryland demand a complete, secure system with both on- and off-site recording. The system’s criteria are comparable to those in states that allow for the recreational use of marijuana, so all locations where it is grown, exchanged, or destroyed are adequately supervised and secure for patients, physicians, and suppliers.
High-definition video with the ability to capture facial details is required for cannabis program resolution requirements. Security cameras must also be able to record by motion detection in order to ensure that any movement inside their field of view is automatically captured and stored. Every entry and exit point on the property needs to have a security camera to record activities. All locations where medical marijuana is packaged, tested, processed, stored, and distributed must have surveillance cameras as well.
The system must run continuously, without interruption, and with precise date and time stamps. For this reason, it is strongly advised that a battery backup be included in the site’s system in case of a power cut. Video recordings must also be kept for at least 30 days. Recording must be done both on- and off-site.
Only the property owner and trustworthy staff members should have access to the video surveillance system in Maryland. Access to the locations’ video security equipment must be granted to law enforcement and the commission upon request.
Alarm Security System
Maryland mandates both a building-wide alarm system and a unique alarm system for areas used for video storage. Panic alarms must be installed throughout the building.
In the event of a power outage, backup power must keep alarm systems operational for 48 hours. At all perimeter entrance points and portals, facilities must have smoke and fire alarms.
Maryland mandates that operators guard perimeter portals using glass break sensors on every perimeter window and motion sensors in rooms with perimeter walls.
In Maryland, licensees are required to monitor who enters and leaves the building. Licensees are required to badge agents, scan visitors’ driver’s licenses, and request their signatures on a log. Although escorts are not required by the state for guests, licensees should monitor them using a video camera.
A combination of surveillance cameras, access controls, alarms, and security management and security operations plans are used to effectively secure cannabis operations. Competent licensees take the necessary steps to apply the most recent changes to Maryland law into effect. Meeting the new specifications reduces costs while improving security.