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.