Security Technologies for the Cannabis Industry

by | Dec 29, 2020

Written by Kristina Etter

Kristina is a digital content creator and designer. She has a talent for creating engaging and informative content that resonates with our professional audience. Kristina’s passion for the cannabis industry stems from her belief that it has the potential to revolutionize the world in many ways, and has a personal testimony of cannabis success.

More and more cannabis retailers are arming themselves out of fear from past robberies that resulted in violence against the employees. This insecurity has created a high demand for new cannabis security technologies specifically designed to protect business assets, workers, and facilities.

While physical security is a beneficial defense, technology provides advanced asset protection cannabis businesses need. It’s not just about limiting security risks acted out by criminals on the outside. It also involves preventing internal theft from employees with top-tier access to inventory and private company information.

Cannabis Security Technologies for Retail and Cultivation

Part of the responsibility towards enhancing security for cannabis businesses falls on the owners—even the structural layout of the building matters when it comes to safety. Camera placement, door alarms, bullet-resistant glass, and access control systems are a handful of security measures implemented by dispensaries and grow operations.

Having a detailed and strategic security plan is essential for protecting cannabis dispensaries and grow operations. It also ensures your business is prepared when a serious situation arises that threatens employee and consumer safety.

Video Surveillance Services

Although security protocols vary from state to state, most cannabis companies are required to have a video surveillance system. Some areas even need 24/7 camera coverage, which has lead to an increase in outsourcing to third-party cannabis security companies. Many of them also specialize in compliance to ensure all local or state security regulations are met. Most state laws require specific security measures under their licensing regulations, and any discrepancies could result in fines or other serious penalties.

Other requirements for video surveillance often include:

  • Intrusion detection sensors
  • Specified video resolution
  • Average retention time of all video storage

Scalability is another vital component when investing in a high-quality video surveillance system because the cannabis industry is constantly evolving and growing. Operators often need constant remote visibility across multiple locations. If a situation arises, the end-user can actively respond and alert the proper authorities.

Electronic Access Control Systems

Security breaches inside a company are often the biggest reasons for most financial or product loss, especially for cannabis businesses. That’s why there must be stringent measures in place to block unauthorized access by employees and customers.

Access control systems protect sensitive areas that contain confidential business information, valuable products, and other business assets by keeping an audit trail of every individual coming and going. Most companies implement key fobs, code-punch locks, access cards, or biometric controls as entrance credentials to secure areas. The system then logs the information to keep a record of all transaction history. Different types of access control also include:

  • Role-based access according to job title or level of security clearance
  • Discretionary access authorized by security personnel for individual employees
  • Mandatory access operated by a central authority for who can or cannot gain entry to specific areas.

NFC Door Locks

Smart locks like NFC (near field communication) door locks are essential for monitoring points of entry/egress and provide a high level of security. This data is especially useful for areas in cannabis facilities with a high volume and inflow and outflow, so there is a record of all activity. Keyless entry with wireless control is a popular cannabis security technology because it offers real-time tracking and different methods for allowing access and by who. Sometimes an individual’s smartphone acts as the key, adding an extra layer of security against intruders without proper clearance. 

Cannabis dispensaries have a vast inventory and can carry up to thousands of dollars in cash at a time, which is incredibly enticing for robbers wanting fast cash. Grow operations and warehouse facilities are also prized targets for criminals looking to resell the weed back on the black market in non-legal states. Door technology is one of the first lines of defense in preventing illegal access and protecting sensitive or high-valued assets.


Outdoor cultivations and grow facilities implementing drone technology find it highly advantageous for risk assessment and off-site monitoring. They can observe an entire facility with a bird’s eye view and survey areas for signs of break-ins or other damage without endangering the safety of other employees or security personnel. While drones are still a new consideration for cannabis security, many businesses have found them useful for general farming operations and plant management. However, this kind of technology is a hard sell for cannabis companies with a limited budget who cannot afford an extra, non-regulated expense.

Cannabis Operators Should Never Sleep on Updates in Security Technologies

Security solutions are of utmost importance for cannabis companies operating out of multiple buildings and locations. The continuous growth of the cannabis industry puts a heavy demand on the security sector to find new protection methods from suspicious and dangerous activities. Cannabis operators must also continually integrate new security technologies to keep up with industry demand and growth.