When starting a cannabis business, there are obvious considerations, such as product, employees, and location. An equally important, but less discussed, element is security. Considering some security measures are actually built into the regulations for marijuana businesses, this is certainly not something to be taken lightly. Cannabis Business Times recently broke down security recommendations and requirements for marijuana cultivators, and our experienced legal team can expand on these tips and explain the rules other types of businesses must also understand.
It may seem basic, but one of the most important steps the report outlined was assessing risk. You don’t want to be reactive to your security needs, only putting measures in place after a problem presents itself. It’s important to be proactive, and identify all the risk areas, particularly any touchpoints where product could be removed from your facility without your knowledge.
Video surveillance is one of the top methods of security in any type of marijuana business, but there are many aspects that must be taken into consideration before choosing the system that’s right for you. Is the video quality high resolution enough? CA Code of Regulations Div. 42, Ch. 1, Sec. 5044 states that minimum camera resolution must be 1280 x 720 pixels. The ability to identify any person recorded must be clear and certain. Your system cannot be in-house only; it must be accessible through the Internet. State guidelines also very specifically outline camera location protocol. The fixed and permanently mounted cameras need to have a view of 20 feet around all entry and exit points. Rules around storage of back logged surveillance are also very detailed because they must be readily available to view by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the government oversight organization in charge of setting and enforcing these regulations. Beyond video surveillance in and around your facility, it is often recommended that recording devices be installed in your delivery vehicles to protect your product once it leaves your establishment, as well.
Next consideration is man power. Hiring trained security personnel might not only be a smart thing to do, but it could be required depending on the type of cannabis business you are running. More specifically, retailers must have trained security on staff or hire them as contractors. Beyond the type of personnel your business might be required to have, there are also guidelines about the records you must keep for your employees: lists of who is allowed on the premises and what level of access they have, backlogs of employees for at least seven years, and personnel and training records.
Surely any business owner would have already thought of locks and possibly alarm systems, but many are not aware there are even rules in place about these points. Commercial-grade, non-residential locks are required at all exits and entrances to your facility, but also all limited-access areas in the building. Alarms must be installed, maintained, and monitored by a licensed professional who will also respond when the alarms are activated.
It’s true all of these points could come up in discussions about opening a new business. But the cannabis industry must also be aware that such precautions could also be mandatory for them. That is why it is so important to contact our skilled Los Angeles cannabis business attorneys. We have deep knowledge of the numerous regulations you must consider when running your business, including those associated with security measures.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients, defendants, workers and those facing criminal marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
7 Security Tips for Cannabis Cultivators, Aug. 27, 2018, Melissa Schiller, Cannabis Business Times
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Federal Banking Regulations Make Dispensaries Robbery Targets, Nov. 18, 2017, Cannabis Law Group