Choosing the right physical security system for your cannabis facility

Securing your cannabis business: Think big from day 1

In the last few years, the cannabis industry has exploded. Recent changes in the U.S. administration could speed up the approval for medical and recreational cannabis usage, leaving policymakers rushing to keep up with this fast-changing industry.

As more states legalize both medicinal and recreational usage, demand will increase and lead to new cultivation and retail operations. Some of these new businesses will expand and grow, while others will get acquired by larger organizations.

Whether you’re new to the market or already established, you know that security is important. Keep reading to learn how to go beyond securing your people and assets, while also maximizing your operational efficiency, protecting your data, managing compliance including audits, and more.

Physical security system for cannabis facility

Unified security for a centralized view

The cannabis industry is expanding fast. Growers, distributors, and retailers are all looking to build and extend their businesses into new markets and territories, which means physical security needs are constantly changing. Can your security system evolve with you?

A physical security platform that combines your IP security systems into one platform can give you true seed-to-sale visibility for all your products. It can combine required components like video monitoring, access control and intrusion detection into a single, unified view of all on-site activity.

Learn the difference between a unified vs. integrated physical security solution in our latest blog post.

Compliance is crucial

Cannabis laws and regulations are complicated and can put stress on cultivators and retailers.

Although governments are becoming more accepting of cannabis, complicated regulations will continue to dictate how your product is produced, distributed, and sold. It’s important to be proactive and not wait until laws are finalized before taking the necessary steps to avoid fines, product recalls, or the loss of your license.

A physical security solution should do more than protect your people and assets. It can also help you maintain compliance by integrating policy and regulations within its platform. Then you can easily create security and operational reports and manage evidence for internal and external audits.

Open architecture for longevity

When referring to technology, the simplest way to explain the difference between open architecture and proprietary systems is that some manufacturers design products that only work with their hardware or software. This locks the customer into their product, whether that product meets their future needs or not.

“Think of it this way…would you ever buy a car that had special tires that only the car manufacturer could provide? It’s only until you needed to replace them that you’d hope they’re in stock and then pay whatever the manufacturer charged. And you’d have to keep your fingers crossed that they continue manufacturing those tires, otherwise, your only option is to replace the whole car or get stuck with a car you can’t drive anymore!”

- Scott Thomas, Genetec National Director of Signature Brands

With an open architecture platform, your physical security solution can support hundreds of different camera models, access control systems, license plate readers, visual and audible devices, input and output devices (IO devices), Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s), and more. When you combine all of these devices into a single unified platform, you can gain access to a constantly growing ecosystem of hundreds of systems, sensors, and applications like:

  • Energy consumption controls that help you reduce energy in your indoor growing facilities
  • Customizable rules engine for automation and workflows 
  • Map-based interfaces  for enhanced situational awareness 
  • Reporting tools for custom graphs, analysis, and long-term data logging 
  • Custom dashboards allowing for user and group-specific interfaces 
  • Stand-alone automated systems for custom applications and edge deployments

Securing your data

Securely storing your data can be challenging. Retail and online dispensaries need to keep sensitive patient and customer information safe to maintain trust. And cultivators need to keep research, intellectual property, and financial information secure. While many states have basic protocols around data and video storage, new federal and state regulations are quickly evolving as concerns over data privacy increase.

That’s why it’s important to have a provider that’ll continue to work with you as laws change and the threat landscape evolves. Your physical security system can help keep your data safe from people within your organization that shouldn’t have access, as well as mitigate your exposure to outside threats such as cyber attacks.

No shortcuts: what you need to think of when choosing a physical security solution

Trying to cut corners while securing your business can result in unexpected complications and higher costs in the long run. Think long term and prioritize a unified physical security solution that provides more than basic security and is a core component of your business operations:

  • Create security and operational reports and manage evidence for internal and external audits
  • Track your assets from seed-to-sale by integrating RFID tags or Barcode scanning into your security system to benefit from associated alerts, synchronization of assets, and inventory tracking
  • Control overall energy consumption in your indoor growing facilities to offset the energy costs related to plant cultivation
  • Combine different security steps that send alerts when triggered in sequence
  • Integrate restricted surveillance areas (RSA) for perimeter security monitoring to reduce the number of false alarms
  • Hardening tools to achieve greater cyber resilience
  • Manage identity and access rights for all of your major locations through one unified platform
  • Protect your video, cardholder, and system data with secure communications between clients, servers, and edge devices
  • Encrypt video in transit, at rest, and when exporting evidence
  • Automate health monitoring features to boost your system's reliability, performance and to meet compliance regulation notifications

Want to learn more?

Check out the cannabis industry webpage for custom solutions that can help your cannabis business run more efficiently and stay compliant.

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