I have had many people approach me with questions regarding what physical security services are needed for cannabis businesses and while the question is simple, unfortunately the answer is quite complex.
There are no national, federal regulations, because quite frankly, cannabis is not legal at the federal level. That being said, as you know, cannabis usage has been legalized at the state level, so security regulations do exist, and they vary on a state-by-state basis. In addition to state level regulation, there is sometimes an additional level of complication due to regulations at the municipal level. I will not attempt to cover the specifics of regulations in every city and town (there is just too much information) but be aware that there may be compliance issues at these levels as well. If you are overwhelmed by the complexity, remember that working with cannabis security consultants can help.
Generally speaking, compliance standards require security systems ensure at a minimum:
- Marijuana access is regulated.
- The product is secure (during handling, storage, and transportation).
- Product Inventory is tracked.
- Notifications are sent to appropriate authorities in the event of a security incident.
- Digital records are kept and protected. This includes video surveillance of the premises of not only of the areas with public access, such as the store-front but also the business storage areas and outside perimeters of the facility.
In addition to digital security systems, some regulations require physical security services, as well – in other words, cannabis businesses often need on premise security personnel.
Most commonly, security personnel are needed at retail establishments. For example, in California, based on Section 5045 of the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s Emergency Regulations:
“A retail licensee or microbusiness licensee that is engaged in retail sale shall hire and contract for security personnel to provide security services for the licensed retail premises. All security personnel hired or contracted for by the licensee shall comply with Chapters 11.4 and 11.5 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code.”
This regulation (as specified by the BCC) does not just apply to operating hours – it actually requires the presence of a guard at any retail site 24/7.
Not all businesses will require this level of security, but if you are selling cannabis at a retail location, you will certainly want to investigate the requirements for your region. At First Choice Detective Agency, we can help you sort through these issues on a state-by-state basis.
Do you need access control for cannabis security?
This question’s an easy one: because yes, you almost certainly need access control for cannabis security.
Every state requires the regulation of access to cannabis, along with documented standards for how that is maintained.
Additionally, access control adds security – so, compliance aside, it is probably necessary just to keep your product and employees safe.
What are the penalties for non-compliance?
Cannabis security is important because it improves the safety of the people at the business, much in the same way that security at a bank or jewelry store does, but you need to also note that a lack of security can lead to compliance penalties.
Since compliance regulations themselves are different in each state, the specifics of compliance penalties vary from incident to incident and from state to state as well. A more drastic consequence of improper security could result in the business being closed down (through the revocation of a marijuana license) and even possible jail time if criminal charges are filed against the operators for sufficient negligence or willful misconduct.
If you are overwhelmed by the complexity, don’t forget that working with cannabis security consultants like First Choice Detective Agency can help.