Why Video Surveillance is Critical for Cannabis Dispensary Security

A video surveillance system is an essential part of cannabis dispensary security. Security cameras help to deter crime, while also capturing everything that happens at your cannabis store. So, if there’s theft of inventory, burglary, a late-night break-in, vandalism or even employee misconduct, it won’t go overlooked.

But on top of providing this critical layer of protection, video surveillance is also required by law at cannabis dispensaries and marijuana stores in Ontario and elsewhere.

Regulations for video surveillance at cannabis retail stores

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario mandates that “a secure, high-resolution surveillance system must be in place at all times” at cannabis / marijuana dispensaries.

Specifically, the law states that cameras be installed to capture the entire store, inside and out, 24 hours a day, including:

  • Entrances and exits, including where IDs are checked
  • Pick up area(s) for cannabis purchased online or by telephone
  • Point of sale area(s)
  • Receiving area(s)
  • Sales floor area(s)
  • Cannabis storage area(s)

Businesses are also required to retain 30 days of video recordings. So, whether your video is stored on an NVR, a DVR or in the cloud, make sure that recordings are secure for at least 30 days.

These are not arbitrary requirements. They are intended to protect you and your cannabis store from theft anywhere on the premises.

Let’s look at how all of those requirements apply.

24/7 security cameras at entrances & exits

As a cannabis store owner or manager, you should know who’s entering your property at all times. This is important for ensuring that customers are of legal age, as well as capturing any crimes that occur during, or after, business hours.

High-resolution security cameras can help you:

  • Monitor the entrances to ensure no children or minors are entering the store
  • Clearly capture all patrons’ faces in case theft occurs inside
  • Capture incidents that occur after business hours, such as break-ins

Video Alarm Verification

You may even consider a security system with video alarm verification. In this instance, any break-in that triggers the alarm will result in a monitoring station receiving a pre-break-in and a current series of video clips. This allows the monitoring station operator to view what had occurred just prior to the break-in and while the occurrence is taking place. Armed with that knowledge, the appropriate steps, including priority Police dispatch can be arrived at. Not only will the Police respond with urgency, but also recorded evidence will be readily available for the business owner, legal authorities and insurance companies.

Surveillance for point of sale & pickup areas

By law, customers are not permitted to touch any cannabis until they have purchased it. So, the point-of-sale (POS) is a prime location for theft, as this is often the first time that the product is within reach of the patron.

POS security cameras for cannabis dispensaries can help to deter someone from making a bad decision. But if they do commit the crime, you have got it on camera to help police apprehend and prosecute the suspect.

CCTV for receiving areas and storage

Receiving and storage areas are a more attractive spot for savvy criminals, because if they’re successful, they can get away with much larger quantities of product.

It is critical that these areas are monitored with video surveillance around the clock. High-resolution security camera can give you a clear view of all receiving operations, faces, delivery vehicles and transactions.

If you discover missing inventory, you’ll be able to review the footage to see exactly where it happened.

Sales floor surveillance

Theft and misconduct can happen anywhere on your sales floor, and unfortunately that includes your employees too.

These incidents may not always happen right in front of your eyes, but when you have video surveillance, you’ll catch everything. The placement of cameras alone can prevent theft and increase employee productivity. And if an incident occurs, you can review it from every angle.

Get more information

Contact Protection Plus for more information on video surveillance solutions that can protect your cannabis dispensary.

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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.