With more and more states legalizing cannabis – both for medical and recreational purposes – more and more investors are taking notice – pouring billions of dollars into the U.S. marijuana industry. Profits from the growth and sale of cannabis are estimated to reach $77 million by 2022.
Whether it’s a small mom-and-pop operation or a major investment company, there’s tremendous competition – from cultivation facilities to dispensaries – and they all have an inherent need for security.
In a recent webinar, “Cloud Video Surveillance for the Cannabis Industry,” Will Harris, Eagle Eye Networks Reseller Partner Director, and cannabis security expert, Joel Armitage, CTO for JLM Networks, discussed this need for security, not only to remain competitive in a crowded market, but also to comply with ever-changing, complex government regulations.
Meeting Owners’ Security Needs
Here’s a snapshot of what the presenters covered regarding security needs of cannabis business owners and how a modern video surveillance system can help address them …
A true cloud video surveillance solution is scalable, reliable, non-tamperable, and allows for all your video to be stored securely in a purpose-built cloud. It permits users to view live and historic video, monitoring people and product to maximize revenue and minimize loss.
But, when looking for a security solution, cannabis business owners shouldn’t stop there. You should also consider a system that provides business intelligence and safety features that make your cameras more useful. For example, an open API platform allows for integration with a wide range of third-party applications, such as access control platforms. And a solution that offers advanced analytics can give you strategic insight into things like camera tampering, intrusion detection, line counting, and loitering.
Comply with Government Legislation
As the industry grows, it’s not just investors who are taking notice, it’s also government entities. Owners are having to comply with not only state regulations, but in some cases, local municipalities’ regulations and ordinances. All are complex and ever-changing, and there aren’t two places in the country where the rules are exactly the same. For example, many states have video retention requirements for cannabis businesses. Some require 30 days’ retention, others require 40, others 90.
Cannabis business owners should look for a video surveillance solution that allows them the flexibility to choose the retention period needed to meet their specific regulations. This need for flexibility also applies to camera resolution requirements. Another thing owners should consider is the system’s ability to offer both on-premises and cloud storage, recording to both locations for reliability and redundancy.
Centrally Monitor Multi-Site Operations
A lot of companies now are striving to be vertically integrated, meaning they want to offer a true seed-to-sale package. They want to have a cultivation facility to grow their product. They want a processing facility to move their product into things like bagged products, edibles, and oils. And they want to operate provisioning centers, commonly called dispensaries, to distribute their products to end-customers.
CEOs and security officers, in particular, are going to want the ability to monitor all cameras from all sites in one place – whether that’s a phone, tablet, computer, or display station – from anywhere in the world. Business owners should look for a solution that offers this capability, eliminating the need to log into 10 different systems and remember 10 different usernames and passwords.
Another benefit to consider: If security can monitor everything from one location, they can potentially decrease the number of physical security guards needed onsite, simply dispatching them in real time, if need be.
Loss prevention is particularly important in the cultivation market, where you have trimmers handling a lot of product – quite possibly hundreds of thousands of pounds a day or a week. The trimming sector is where owners are experiencing a great deal of loss, second only to the dispensary level. Having camera coverage that allows you to see everything from every angle is tremendously valuable and lends itself to a quick and ongoing return on investment (ROI).This blog post merely scratches the surface of the valuable information shared by Will and Joel in their presentation. For more details, download our webinar, “Cloud Video Surveillance for the Cannabis Industry.”