With the imminent legalization of marijuana in Canada and the growth of legal marijuana facilities, owners need to establish unique security solutions that protect them against theft and deter criminals.
The legal production, growing, cultivation, and selling of marijuana is already very well regulated with rules in place for the safe provision of medical marijuana. Marijuana is listed under Schedule II of the CDSA, meaning it is defined as a controlled substance.
Anyone engaging in lawful activities must be properly licensed, and ensure that the controlled substances are adequately secured and safeguarded at all times, for public safety and to minimize risks of diversion.
The Health Canada Licensed Producer security guidelines include the following main provisions which every legal marijuana and cannabis producer must comply:
Securing your marijuana production site - A licensed marijuana producers site must be designated in a way that prevents unauthorized access and include physical barriers where cannabis is present. This may include security signage and physical barriers, access control systems, sensors, and intrusion detection systems.
Monitoring and Detection of Your Marijuana Production Facility - The perimeter of your marijuana production site and all areas where marijuana is present must be visually monitored at all times by a visual recording device that can detect and record any attempted or successful occurrences of unauthorized access.
Access Control and Security into your Marijuana Production Facility - The Canadian law states that the site has to be designed in a way that prevents unauthorized access. Access to areas where marijuana is present is restricted to licensed individuals whose presence is required by work responsibilities.
What are the risks for a legal marijuana facility or retail store?
Licensed producers and retail stores pose a very attractive target for criminals, especially since there’s a ready marijuana market for a quick product sale. Unlicensed operations can’t report to the police if their location has been the target of an armed robbery or break-in. But for licensed marijuana businesses, with legal marijuana growing operations, the situation is very different.
If a criminal is confident enough break into and rob another criminal’s illegal marijuana grow-op, do you think they will be afraid to rob a legal marijuana facility? Licensed producers and stores that inventory their product and cash on site end up being very high risk for theft and armed robbery.
What’s the solution?
Your site must be designated in a way that prevents unauthorized access, and include physical barriers where cannabis is present. This should also include access control, sensors, intrusion detection, and security signage.
Anywhere on your site where cannabis is present must be visually monitored at all times. These systems should be able to successfully detect and record any occurrences of unauthorized access.
The perimeter must include an intrusion detection system that operates 24/7 and monitors and records criminal activities and access, movement in the site, and tampering with security systems. Don’t think installing CCTV cameras is going to protect your marijuana store or grow-op. If the video cameras aren’t monitored as part of a reputable security system, the likelihood of a police response in time to capture the criminals is next to nil.
To find out how Sonitrol Western Canada can help with a unique security plan for the marijuana industry, contact us today.