Originally published on Marijuana Venture
In the face of global shutdowns, shelter-in-place orders, loss of jobs and the ever-present threat of illness, cannabis sales skyrocketed in 2020. A study conducted by Leafly, using state tax and revenue data, showed cannabis sales were up 71% compared to 2019 — a $7.6 billion increase to hit $18.3 billion in total sales.
But marijuana’s continued status as a Schedule I drug at the federal level certainly doesn’t make it an easy landscape for newcomers to navigate. Limited bank options make it mostly a cash-only business, which can be dangerous. And whether you already operate a facility or you’re hoping to open a dispensary, processing or grow operation, there are many regulations to keep in mind — most of which include electronic and physical security requirements.
CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL
Security challenges and regulatory issues existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic and are likely to continue into the foreseeable future, as more states begin to legalize recreational cannabis. An influx of sales caused by the pandemic means even more pressure to ensure security and regulatory compliance.
Navigating the strict security regulations imposed on cannabis businesses requires a well-thought-out plan and a flexible solution that can provide enterprise-level surveillance features and scalability. No matter what state the operation is located in, a security system with the capacity to store video footage and remote monitoring capabilities are a must.
Operators looking to open or update a facility should consider seeking guidance from a security consultant or systems integrator well-versed in the cannabis space and familiar with the regulations and procedures of each municipality. The selection of a solutions provider that offers a flexible and open architecture approach to security can help to ensure compliance from seed to sale.