Cannabis store own­ers have a lot to con­sid­er before open­ing their shops, but secu­ri­ty must­n’t become an after­thought.

Pro­tect­ing your inven­to­ry, staff, and cus­tomers is a vital pri­or­i­ty for any shop own­er. But also, it’s against the law to go with­out such pro­tec­tion. Local laws require you to imple­ment a range of cannabis store secu­ri­ty mea­sures before open­ing your doors to the pub­lic.

In this post, we look at some of those require­ments in clos­er detail to help you iden­ti­fy the right solu­tions for your store.

Cannabis Store Secu­ri­ty: What the Laws Say

Canada’s provinces and ter­ri­to­ries have reg­u­la­tions for how cannabis is sold and con­sumed. This post will look at Ontario, whose laws pro­vide a good frame­work for cannabis store secu­ri­ty.

Ontar­i­o’s laws are set forth under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 (CLA) and Reg­u­la­tion 468/18, which is reg­u­lat­ed by the Alco­hol and Gam­ing Com­mis­sion of Ontario (AGCO).

Here’s a quick overview of the rules regard­ing store secu­ri­ty:

1) Stores must have video sur­veil­lance

The law dic­tates that “a secure, high-res­o­lu­tion sur­veil­lance sys­tem must be in place at all times.”

Addi­tion­al­ly, it mat­ters where your cam­eras are locat­ed and what they cap­ture:

  • Cam­eras must cap­ture the inte­ri­or and exte­ri­or of the cannabis store 24 hours a day, includ­ing entrances & exits, pickup/delivery areas, sales floor, stor­age and point-of-sale areas.
  • All video record­ings must be retained for 30 days or more.
  • Store own­ers ensure these cam­eras are “func­tion­ing prop­er­ly at all times.”

2) Store access must be secure

The CLA states that “all access points to the premis­es must be secure and pro­tect­ed against unau­tho­rized access.”

While the rules do not go into details here, cannabis store own­ers may want to con­sid­er mea­sures such as:

3) Cannabis stor­age must be secure

Where cannabis is stored or han­dled, it must remain secure and be acces­si­ble only to keep employ­ees.

The law spec­i­fies that this applies to every aspect of stor­age, includ­ing:

  • Dis­play con­tain­ers
  • Point of sale
  • Receipt of prod­uct
  • Destruc­tion of prod­uct
  • Return of prod­uct to the pro­duc­er or the Ontario Cannabis Retail Cor­po­ra­tion

4) Cannabis can’t be vis­i­ble from out­side the store

Laws require cannabis store own­ers to ensure that “cannabis and acces­sories are not vis­i­ble from the exte­ri­or of the premis­es.”

The store lay­out can par­tial­ly solve this chal­lenge. How­ev­er, licensees may also want to con­sid­er addi­tion­al secu­ri­ty mea­sures, such as tint­ed win­dow film and oth­er cov­er­ings that pre­vent peo­ple from see­ing prod­ucts out­side the store.

5) Dis­play con­tain­ers must be secure

Stores can use “sen­so­ry dis­play con­tain­ers” that allow cus­tomers to see and smell cannabis.

How­ev­er, these cas­es must be kept locked and tam­per-proof to pre­vent cus­tomers from actu­al­ly touch­ing the cannabis.

Choos­ing suit­able con­tain­ers with secure lock­ing mech­a­nisms is crit­i­cal for store own­ers to remain com­pli­ant.

Need help with your cannabis store secu­ri­ty?

Con­tact our experts at Pro­tec­tion Plus for more infor­ma­tion on secu­ri­ty solu­tions that pro­tect your cannabis store and keep you in com­pli­ance with all applic­a­ble laws.

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Allan Baum
Security Industry veteran with over 30+ years in the industry. Founded family owned and operated Protection Plus in 1994 with his wife and has overseen its growth since. In addition to working with his wife and son, Allan has assigned the role of Chief Canine Officer to his trusted dog Waub, who joins him at the office every day.