The Complete Guide to Cannabis Dispensary Security

Guide to Cannabis Dispensary Security

Security is a must for every business, but some such as the cannabis industry needs stricter security protocols than others.

Dispensary security solutions aren’t just needed by state and municipal authorities as a precondition of obtaining a license to operate in a particular location but are also necessitated by the very nature of the cannabis sector.

Cannabis use and possession remain prohibited by federal law. The licensing and operating rules, however, are handled on a state-to-state basis for those states that have deemed that they are legal in their jurisdiction.

For instance, several states and municipalities have certain guidelines for the appropriate use of video surveillance.

So, do cannabis dispensaries need security? Let’s discover:

Do Cannabis Dispensaries Need Security Services?

By 2024, it is expected that the United States will be a $61 billion worth of medical and recreational cannabis market, with a total economic impact of more than $90 billion. Moreover, sales for recreational use are anticipated to eventually surpass those for medical use as more states are likely to enact legalization.

Currently, security procedures implemented in the cannabis industry differ from one state to another and even from one city to another. Furthermore, there is no one established practice for the industry as municipalities and authorities continue to create their own rules and criteria.

Yet, it goes without saying that the cannabis industry’s top concern when it comes to cultivation and dispensary is its security.

So, yes cannabis dispensaries need security!

How Can Cannabis Dispensaries Stay Secure

Identifying Security Risks

Understanding your security’s strengths and weaknesses starts with identifying the risks. This will assist the security plan for the dispensary (DSP). You’ll have to list your current security solutions while conducting the security assessment.

Create a layout of the facility while undertaking a risk assessment. Note the entry and exit points for people – this included employees and customers. Don’t forget vendors, mail, and package delivery – mark their entry ad exits too. Although adequate security may be in place to prevent theft, loitering, and other issues, the objective is to make it as simple as possible for customers to shop.

It is essential to be open and honest about security with employees. The main threat to a cannabis facility doesn’t come from external factors, according to a top cannabis website. Instead, it comes from within via employee theft. Insiders are familiar with how the organization operates and its weak spots.

Having said that, make sure that a background check is performed in-depth on every employee. Choosing employees you can trust is the objective. Give them thorough training on all of your security measures. It’s also advisable to minimize their chances of stealing by alternating shifts. This may minimize employee collaboration.

It will be easier to position cameras and avoid blind spots if you have a map of the property. Create a priority list that includes all potential security measures. Alas, cannabis businesses must follow all applicable laws and regulations. Yet, if you don’t need to implement anything right away, it’s still worth ranking the options.

Comprehensive Surveillance System

State and municipal laws mandate that dispensaries must have a comprehensive surveillance system in place, making it a crucial precaution to undertake. In the case that something does happen, there are clear benefits. 

Once a system is set up, there can also be additional rules to follow, such as the need for a minimum storage capacity and a 90-day retention period for footage. All of these are good practices, however, may differ from city to city.

You must be able to view real-time footage from your surveillance system remotely from any location and on any compatible device. you can also hire managed IT service providers to manage your surveillance systems  round-the-clock for even more security so that, should something happen, they may verify threats and alert the relevant agencies. 

Have A Dispensary Security Plan In Place

Access the federal and state regulations and laws that have an impact on your business before you begin developing the security plan for your marijuana business. You will keep referring to them to make sure you meet all the requirements.

A cannabis dispensary plan will outline everything in detail. The DSP is a dynamic document that will be updated frequently as laws and regulations change. You will be able to update the processes mentioned in the plan as you discover more effective ways to accomplish things.

Here are the insights:

  • Intro: Include the purpose and objective of the plan in this section. You must also assign employees to maintain and update the plan. This section is where you will keep a log of each version of the plan and what changed from the previous one.    
  • Physical facility design: You must create a map of the facility to identify the risks your dispensary may face. Include fencing, landscaping, lighting, surveillance systems, parking area, and other properties surrounding the dispensary in the design of the facility. 
  • Policies: This section will contain the entry and exit of employees, customers, and other people on the property. Set up a plan for customers, law enforcement, parking rules, entry, navigation, and exit from the store. Include all the processes such as background verification, onboarding, off-boarding, and preventing on-site consumption.
  • Security measures: Include dispensary security processes, storage locks, and video surveillance procedures in this section.

Make sure all employees have read the DSP by including a sign-off showing they have read it and will abide by it. The sign-off process will be repeated every time there is an update.

Although the DSP’s development takes time, it will help greatly in achieving and maintaining compliance. Working with a cannabis security specialist who is familiar with the industry is the best approach to expedite this without sacrificing anything.


The cannabis industry has experienced unprecedented growth, and with that, there are more threats than ever before. Implementing cannabis dispensary security solutions is essential to benefit from the burgeoning sector with the lowest risks possible. A dispensary security plan can help you keep your products secure, safeguard your reputation, minimize financial loss, and avoid legal consequences for non-compliance.

Cannabis security comes in several forms, including installing security systems, training employees, setting up security protocols, and hiring physical guards. On the basis of the best cannabis security methods and technologies, businesses must create a thorough security checklist for their cannabis business. You might need assistance from an experienced cannabis security business, depending on the size of your operations and the legal cannabis security standards.

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