Security and Special Systems Technology for Marijuana Grow Facilities and Dispensaries
DigaNET, a premier leader in Cannabis Security, Lighting, and Automation leads the way for those who either cultivate or sell marijuana, it is important that they know how to protect their investment – equipment, inventory, products and above all, their employees. The marijuana industry certainly comes with its own security challenges.
The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington introduced a new element for the cannabis industry in the United States – effective security that “fits” with this industry. Medicinal marijuana is legal in 23 states, but is still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the U.S. government which makes growing and selling marijuana illegal under federal law.
This elevates the security situation for marijuana farms and dispensaries to a new level because many banks are reluctant to accept money that is generated from the sale of marijuana, so this has forced the industry to be an all-cash business. This has led to the development of “specialty” security companies for a niche market. Not only do these “specialty” security companies protect product and cash on hand, they are also responsible for securing the perimeter of the property, access control in and out of areas and buildings, monitoring video surveillance and response, monitoring the intrusion detection systems and providing on-going consulting services, they have to constantly monitor the temperature and lighting within the growing facilities. For 32 Security Tips for Cannabis operations, click here.
It is important that marijuana farms and dispensaries consider all possible threats, have state-of-the-art technology as a part of their security master plans and that the security operation is efficient and either minimizes or eliminates any security vulnerability.
We have security plans that are designed to “minimize security exposure and prevent breaches before they even occur. However, in the event that preventative measures fail, the Operational Security Plan is designed to quickly observe, monitor, protect, counter and report any situations that do occur.
The Facility Security Plan includes:
- Location and Site Security
- Secured Employee Parking
- Around the Clock Coverage
- Security Surveillance Systems (CCTV)
- Maintenance of Security Systems
- Access Control / Ingress & Egress
- Perimeter Security
- Product Security
- Fire Alarm System
- Intrusion Alarm System
The Operational Security Plan includes:
- Security Threats
- Transactional Security
- Delivery Security
- Hazardous Weather
- Human Resource Policies
- Employee Security Training
- Inventory Control
- Guest, Media & Visitor Procedures
- Neighborhood Involvement
- Emergency Response
- Contingency Planning
Security and Compliance regulation are a huge part of day to day operations for Indoor/Outdoor, Greenhouse, and Dispensaries in the cannabis market place.
Due to the regulation there's a high amount of standards and codes that have to be met. Everything from placement of certain types of cameras, to different types of DVRs that have to be used, to recording times, to types of wire.
In Colorado we have a twelve page documents in our regulations that outlines it. It kind of reads like a technical manual. During the inspections for licensing, if a location isn’t up to code in any way, they run the risk of not receiving the license. In that technical sense it’s how it's different.
We have to deal with internal theft a lot, which is interesting. You’ve got a small product and a secure location with lots of growers and trimmers inside a facility who can easily pocket something and walk out with it.
We try and ensure that that shrinkage is as limited as possible. You have to keep in mind that this is a cash crop. It’s very expensive to produce and the owners of the facilities want to make sure their investment is watched over. That’s where Diganet comes into play.
The “specialty” security companies such as Diganet, are meeting the needs of the marijuana industry because some dispensary owners have stated that ADT, the largest security provider in the nation has dropped or is refusing to accept customers in the marijuana industry. ADT told CNNMoney it won't "sell security services to businesses engaged in the marijuana industry because it is still illegal under federal law."
SECURING YOUR GROW
Legal marijuana grow operations are often the most targeted locations for crime and theft. Due to the nature of the grow operation, secrecy and security are the best deterrents to potential thefts. Often these sites use only passive security measure like cameras and sensors but these measures are reactive and usually do not deter a crime. Only a security officer can provide an active security element to protect your investment. A single theft can wipe out an entire crop and potentially the loss of tens of thousands of dollars in finished product, but often a theft can damage other expensive property such as irrigation and lighting systems.