Undoubtedly, the marijuana business is a roaring industry and growing massively at this moment. With its constant growth, both medical and recreational retail are top choices for business owners for high revenue & success. Such high-volume and cash-based businesses always come with serious security concerns and that’s why your owners must keep their business security requirements in place.
Why is Security Important?
The marijuana market is quite risky and risk mitigation is a big challenge. The high demand for marijuana justifies the need for extra security. The monetary losses are not the only reason for an additional layer of security, since cannabis was considered an illegal substance in the past, hence the government is paying extra attention to cannabis regulations. Therefore, many states explicitly ask for a security plan in their licensing application. Security systems are mandated for cannabis stores/facilities and must meet all the criteria of physical security requirements. Without following these security requirements, obtaining a license and opening a recreational retail store is an impossible task.
To operate legally, both recreational and medical stores’ cannabis security plans must adhere to state and federal compliance standards, regarding the production, handling, distribution, and selling of marijuana or marijuana products.
Security Requirements For New York
To operate a recreational facility in New York, you need to start by familiarizing yourself with cannabis regulations at the federal, local, and state levels. Security regulations may vary from one jurisdiction to another, but all jurisdictions and states require them to be part of your cannabis security plans. The classification of marijuana possession and consumption also varies from state to state.
Before opening a retail store you need to thoroughly study your state’s complete regulations. You can seek professional help to ensure you’re following guidelines correctly and to avoid penalties or suspension.
New York Recreational Program Requirements
- Duress alarm – It’s a silent security alarm system signal that alerts security guards, medical personnel, and others when an individual needs immediate assistance and help.
- Panic alarm – An audible security alarm system signal that lets an individual under duress silently and quickly reach out for help in time of emergency.
- Hold-up alarm – A silent security alarm system signal that is used at the time of the robbery.
- Back-up alarm system is used in the absence of employees to detect any unauthorized entry at the facility, especially at night.
- The failure notification system provides information about any failure within 5 minutes.
- Automatic voice dialer/digital dialer that automatically gets activated, sends a message to the licensee’s designated representative, either by telephone, email, or text message.
- All entry and exit points of the facilities should install cameras for clear and clean identification of intruders.
- The surveillance system should work 24/7 and must contain backup for at least 60 days.
- Must have limited access to any surveillance areas and keep all on-site surveillance rooms locked.
- Video surveillance must have remote access capability.
- Security systems and equipment must be kept in a secure location.
- Video recordings should have a date and time stamp embedded on all recordings.
- Surveillance must remain operational at the time of a power outage
- The premises’ exterior area should be illuminated for clear identification.
- Premises gates, doors, and windows should be locked at all times.
- Must keep visitor entry and exit log records including visit date, time, and purpose.
- The system must be tested twice a year, retaining results for a minimum of five years.
Dispensary Security Requirements For New York
Medical cannabis retail stores are operated by registered organizations. These facilities need to adhere to security systems to prevent incidents like theft, robbery, stealing, and loss of marijuana. Here are some security measures that need to be followed by each facility.
- Perimeter alarm to communicate with an internal designee and also with designated third-party monitoring stations at the time of intrusion take place in the facility.
- Video cameras must be installed inside and outside of the cannabis retail store. It should include a clear and best quality resolution of premises entry and exit points.
- Interior and exterior of the premises must have the best lighting conditions for the identification of visitors and intruders.
- The manufacturing facility or dispensing site must keep direct cameras at all areas where marijuana or medical marijuana products are being handled, stored, or disposed of.
- All medical cannabis must be stored in protected storage against physical, chemical, and microbial contamination and deterioration.
- Safe and secured vaults to store cannabis and cannabis products, these vaults should be locked and protected against visitors.
- Selected employees should have access to unauthorized areas, storage rooms, and cannabis vaults.
- Selected and allowed employees should have access to manufactured medical cannabis products storage.
What else is Essential From a Security Point of View?
Regardless of the local and federal requirements for cannabis businesses in your jurisdiction, there are some best practices that you can adopt to ensure your business’s safety and security.
Security guards services including both armed & unarmed
Added security for cash counters
Limited authorization for specific areas (use keycards, biometrics, or fobs for quick access)
Metal detector machines for the detection of weapons like knives and guns.
The marijuana industry is a rapidly growing business and continuously changing with each passing year. Investing in top security measures isn’t just about meeting cannabis regulatory requirements. It also gives you insight into your business for better risk management & proactive problem-solving that will give your business an upper hand. Seek professional consulting or hire an expert to ensure your business is protected at all times against stealing and theft.