The Cannabis industry is growing rapidly. By 2022 the State of Illinois could have 295 stores distributing and selling Cannabis and related products. That means there will be approximately 2.5 stores for every 100,000 residents. Legal sales and medicinal sales are booming.
It appears that the Cannabis industry is Covid proof. You may be driving through Illinois or Chicago and see lines of people lined up waiting to purchase Cannabis products. It’s looking like the state of Illinois will be bringing it over $100 million in tax revenue a year.
Some estimates are higher. Recreational sales in Cannabis related products may top $500 million a year. With these incredible sales numbers the State of Illinois is looking for their fair share in taxes.
And with taxes and so much money at play the Cannabis Industry is one of the most regulated in the State.
Cannabis infused products are taxed at 20%, and other concentrated forms of Cannabis may be taxed as high as 30%. Which means the state will be keeping an eye on dispensaries and all other cannabis related businesses.
And as the industry grows watch for more compliance and regulations. One of the major areas that is regulated in the Cannabis industry, is security. Infusers, Dispensaries, and Cultivators are all mandated by the state to implement security and camera systems. Cannabis dispensaries must secure and protect their products, facilities and products in this heavily regulated industry.
Cultivators must deploy and invest in cannabis security solutions that are well equipped and state of the art. Another part of the cannabis security and camera systems requirements for dispensaries is integration between the camera and access control systems. Also, operational policies and procedures coupled with established employee training and guidelines is required.
There are several security areas anyone in the Marijuana Dispensary, Marijuana Grow Operations should familiarize themselves with. Let’s start with Cannabis Security Planning. A cannabis security plan is necessary part of all dispensary operations and marijuana growing operations. It lays the foundations and provides the guidelines and policies that must be adhered to in order to remain compliant with state regulations. Cannabis Security plans include the overall objectives of the security initiative, assigns responsibilities, identifies risks, highlights systems and documents policies and procedures. This is the most crucial step in meeting compliance requirements and limiting risks related to your cannabis business. Cultivators, infusers, and dispensaries are dealing with high risk, because of the desirability of their product. There is also a lot of cash traffic and a constantly changing regulatory environment. That’s why states require a security plan be submitted with their other application requirements.
Security Plans are a key component for all state licensing applications. Cannabis Security plans may include as many as 50 pages of information. They must address every rule, regulation, policy and requirement dictated by the governing and regulation bodies. In Illinois, Recreational Dispensaries are licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
In Section 15-100 of Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act is where you will find the compliance regulations and requirements for securing and security systems for dispensaries. The important part to understand about a Cannabis Business Security plan is the plan must tie into how you run your operations. It must also reflect your floor plan, customer flow, product flow, storage considerations, and transportation considerations.
States require 24 Hour video surveillance, 90 days of camera footage storage, both on-site and in the cloud. Illinois cannabis security requirements also define what the camera’s resolution must be. Other security requirements for the dispensaries include time and date stamped images of video feeds, printable still photos, panic alarm buttons and other requirements such as communications to the DEA and State Police.
Working with experts from IT Risk Managers LLC for your cannabis security systems needs will save you time, money and give you peace of mind that you’re getting the right dispensary security plan for your needs.
With the current pandemic and other social issues and unrest facing our nation, security for dispensaries has become critical. This includes the physical security such as guards, vaults, windows, shutters, and electronic security such as access control, cameras, intrusion detection and panic alarms. A security plan that is properly executed is crucial to protect valuable inventory, on-site cash, customers and employees. It’s important that you know the regulations and compliance requirements for your cannabis and marijuana dispensary business. These regulations do vary from state to state, however the foundations and framework for a good dispensary security posture are similar.
Cannabis Security Plans starts with a Security Assessment. You need to understand the risks and threats that are related to your location. IT Risk Managers LLC uses ASIS International standards and guidelines. ASIS is an organization of Security Professionals that publishes best practices and guidelines in the security industry.
Dispensary Security Systems, Cannabis growing operations, and Infusing Operations all must
be equipped with following security systems components:
The Closed-Circuit Television System (CCTV) – The CCTV system is comprised of a Video Management System (VMS), Network Video Recorders (NVRs), Local Area Network (LAN), LAN switches, PC-based workstations, Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS), and Network IP Cameras.
This is the brains of the cannabis camera systems for dispensary operations. The VMS gives you the ability to meet the compliance requirements for the operations of your dispensary or grow operations.
The entire inside of the proposed facility and the immediate area of the exterior must be under CCTV
The VMS also needs to have an easy way to connect for the IDFPR, and State Police in the event of a security incident. The VMS, NVR, LAN, and other components of the dispensary security system must have the proper
battery backup to ensure that the system can function in the event of power outages or other natural disasters. This is also a regulation mandate.
Access Control Systems are the electronic control of locks, keys, and entrance control. Currently, you may use a key card or FOB to enter an office building. The door lock is opened when a key card is swiped across a reader. The card’s credentials are compared to the database record and entrance is denied or given based on this information. To protect and provide secure entry and access to the dispensary or cannabis growing operation an Access Control Security system comprised of controllers, smart card readers, smart cards, and a communications server is required. The Access Control systems should be cross connected with the security alarm system.
Today’s leading access control security systems for the cannabis industry includes point monitoring, access control with photo ID badging, network video recorder integration, alarm notification and threat level integration. Any security systems deployed for dispensary protection should be listed by Underwriters Laboratories. The Access control system also requires a battery backup to remain operational during a power outage.
Smart Card Readers are also a key component to an access control security system. These readers have multi-layered security that ensures only authorized individuals with the proper credentials can enter the secure area. Cards and entrance identification should be based on the secure Elite format. This format provides additional dispensary security because only one organization can order the entrance cards that are unique to your organization.
Is another important part of any dispensary security system. These systems streamline the check in process and captures visitor information so contractors, vendors, and others can be securely allowed into the operation. The Visitor Management system for your facility also records and maintains a database of all who enter or visit the cannabis dispensary facility.
The Security Alarm Systems for cannabis operations is comprised of magnetic door contacts, sensors, motion detectors, glass break detectors, control panel, zone expanders, alarm keypads, and panic/holdup alarms. These systems are like burglar alarm systems however they can be integrated with your access control system, and camera system. These systems must be installed by a licensed private alarm contractor and monitored 24/7 with alerting capabilities to local law enforcement agencies.
Licensed and armed security staff is necessary to protect the facility, products, employees and visitors from threats. Threats may include robberies, break-ins, violent actions, and other identified and unidentified threats. The security staff needs to adhere to best practices regarding access control, detection of unauthorized intrusions, theft, property protection, employee protection, and emergency response. During hours of operation armed security staff need to monitor perimeters, parking, facilities, and monitor the electronic security systems, like the cameras, access control, and security alarm systems. The armed security staff for the marijuana operation will also assist in lock up and opening procedures, serve as an escort of armored transport personnel and provide escort of employees to their vehicles.
Security staff needs to be provided and trained by licensed security contractors and private detective agencies. Security staff and officers need to have PERC cards. Illinois Permanent Employee Registration Cards (PERC) that are issued by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), They also need the ability to obtain a valid Firearms Control Card (FCC) as issued by IDFPR. Licensed private detective agencies and armed guard services must be in good standing and licensed to ensure security personnel working at your facility have the credentials and pass proper background check.
Cannabis Security plans and Dispensary Security systems most also include policies and procedures on the delivery, and transportation processes for the Cannabis business . This will include how cannabis and marijuana products are received and stored to avoid theft and diversion. It will also include cash transportation policies, cash handling policies and armored car services. Proper packaging, labeling and maintaining an authorized computer inventory control system that tracks manifests, shipments, weights, inventory and payments is also required. Tamper resistant containers, labeling and weighing are all part of these procedures and policies.
Cannabis operations need a delivery process on how cannabis is received. This includes generation of a manifest prescribed by the IDFPR. Receipt procedures including when product will be received, how many armed personnel will be required, product inspection.
This includes tamper proof cash bags, and other cash handling procedures.
Cannabis products need to be closely monitored, properly stored, and continuously inventoried to deter theft.
Dispensary employees must be properly vetted, licensed, trained and supervised. The cannabis dispensary must maintain a current and updated employee roster. All employees must be issued a photo identification and key card that will be utilized to identify authorized employees and provide access to authorized areas.
The dispensary must utilize a web based “point of sale” inventory system to account for all products sold and maintain an accurate and current inventory of products on-site. The sales and inventory information must be available in “real time” to the Division and made available to the Illinois State Police.
Cannabis products must be stored within a product vault in a restricted access room specifically designed for the storage of cannabis.
A Cannabis dispensary must also maintain policies and security procedures regarding the handling, storage, and transfer of cash to deter theft and loss.
ecurity measures must be taken to ensure that only properly vetted and authorized employees have access to the computer systems. The systems must also be protected from outside agents attempting to hack or ransom data. There are some very important things to examine with IT Support for Cannabis Dispensaries.
A comprehensive and complete hiring process needs to be implemented to ensure only suitable and qualified candidates are hired. This may include criminal background checks, name verifications, DOB verification, and SSN verification.
A Cannabis dispensary or marijuana grow operation must have a Licensed Private Alarm Contractor to install the Cannabis Security System. In the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act of 2019 Section 15-100 spells out very clearly the requirements for security systems. Section 15-100 Subsection H Paragraph 1 reads exactly:
(h) Security and alarm.
(1) A dispensing organization shall have an adequate security plan and security system to prevent and detect diversion, theft, or loss of cannabis, currency, or unauthorized intrusion using commercial grade equipment installed by an Illinois licensed private alarm contractor or private alarm contractor agency that shall, at a minimum, include:
(i) A perimeter alarm on all entry points and glass break protection on perimeter windows;
(ii) Security shatterproof tinted film on exterior windows;
(iii) A failure notification system that provides an audible, text, or visual notification of any failure in the surveillance system, including, but not limited to, panic buttons, alarms, and video monitoring system. The failure notification system shall provide the failure notification system shall provide an alert to designated dispensing organization agents within 5 minutes after the failure, either by telephone or text message;
(iv) A duress alarm, panic button, and alarm, or holdup alarm and after-hours intrusion detection alarm that by design and purpose will directly or indirectly notify, by the most efficient means, the Public Safety Answering Point for the law enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction;
(v) Security equipment to deter and prevent unauthorized entrance into the dispensary, including electronic door locks on the limited and restricted access areas that include devices or a series of devices to detect unauthorized intrusion that may include a signal system interconnected with a radiofrequency method, cellular, private radio signals or other mechanical or electronic device.
IT Risk Managers LLC is a Private Alarm Contractor specializing in the cannabis industry. IT Risk Managers LLC private alarm contracting license number is 127.001762
If you need further information related to Cannabis Security plans for dispensaries or grow operations, you can call Rick Bolda at 630-918-7370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a table you may find helpful that outlines the exact cannabis security requirements for cannabis dispensing facilities in the State of Illinois. Feel free to copy as needed or contact IT Risk Managers LLC for your cannabis system security needs.
|141||15-100||a||A dispensing organization shall implement security measures to deter and prevent entry into and theft of cannabis or currency.|
|141||15-100||b||A dispensing organization shall submit any changes to the floor plan or security plan to the Department for pre-approval. All cannabis shall be maintained and stored in a restricted access area during construction.|
|141||15-100||c||The dispensing organization shall implement security measures to protect the premises, purchasers, and dispensing organization agents including, but not limited to the following:|
|141||15-100||c||Establish a locked door or barrier between the facility’s entrance and the limited access area;|
|141||15-100||c||Prevent individuals from remaining on the premises if they are not engaging in activity permitted by this Act|
|142||15-100||c||Develop a policy that addresses the maximum capacity and purchaser flow in the waiting rooms and limited access areas|
|142||15-100||c||Dispose of cannabis in accordance with this Act and rules;|
|142||15-100||c||During hours of operation, store and dispense all cannabis from the restricted access area. During operational hours, cannabis shall be stored in an enclosed locked room or cabinet and accessible only to specifically authorized dispensing organization agents|
|142||15-100||c||When the dispensary is closed, store all cannabis and currency in a reinforced vault room in the restricted access area and in a manner as to prevent diversion, theft or loss|
|142||15-100||c||Keep the reinforced vault room and any other equipment or cannabis storage areas securely locked and protected from unauthorized entry;|
|142||15-100||c||Keep an electronic daily log of dispensing organization agents with access to the reinforced vault room and knowledge of the access code or combination;|
|142||15-100||c||Keep all locks and security equipment in good working order;|
|142||15-100||c||Maintain an operational security and alarm system at all times;|
|142||15-100||c||Prohibit keys, if applicable, from being left in the locks, or stored or placed in a location accessible to persons other than specifically authorized personnel;|
|143||15-100||c||Prohibit accessibility of security measures, including combination numbers, passwords, or electronic or biometric security systems to persons other than specifically authorized dispensing organization agents;|
|143||15-100||c||Ensure that the dispensary interior and exterior premises are sufficiently lit to facilitate surveillance|
|143||15-100||c||Ensure that trees, bushes, and other foliageoutside of the dispensary premises do not allow for aperson or persons to conceal themselves from sight;|
|143||15-100||c||Develop emergency policies and procedures for securing all product and currency following any instance of diversion, theft, or loss of cannabis, and conduct an assessment to determine whether additional safeguards are necessary; and|
|143||15-100||c||Develop enough additional safeguards in response to any special security concerns, or as required by the Department.|
|143||15-100||d||The Department may request or approve alternative security provisions that it determines are an adequate substitute for a security requirement specified in this Article. Any additional protections may be considered by the Department in evaluating overall security measures.|
|143||15-100||e||A dispensary organization may share premises with a craft grower or an infuser organization, or both, provided each licensee stores currency and cannabis or cannabis-infused products in a separate secured vault to which the other licensee does not have access or all licensees sharing a vault share more than 50% of the same ownership.|
|144||15-100||f||A dispensing organization shall provide additional security as needed and, in a manner, appropriate for the community where it operates.|
|144||15-100||g||Restricted access areas.|
|144||15-100||g||All restricted access areas must be identified by the posting of a sign that is a minimum of 12 inches by 12 inches and that states “Do Not Enter - Restricted Access Area - Authorized Personnel Only” in lettering no smaller than one inch in height.|
|144||15-100||g||All restricted access areas shall be clearly described in the floor plan of the premises, in the form and manner determined by the Department, reflecting walls, partitions, counters, and all areas of entry and exit. The floor plan shall show all storage, disposal, and retail sales areas.|
|144||15-100||g||All restricted access areas must be secure, with locking devices that prevent access from the limited access areas.|
|144||15-100||h||Security and alarm.|
|145||15-100||h||A dispensing organization shall have an adequate security plan and security system to prevent and detectdiversion, theft, or loss of cannabis, currency, or unauthorized intrusion using commercial grade equipmentinstalled by an Illinois licensed private alarm contractoror private alarm contractor agency that shall, at aminimum, include:|
|145||15-100||h||A perimeter alarm on all entry points and glass break protection on perimeter windows;|
|145||15-100||h||Security shatterproof tinted film on exterior windows;|
|145||15-100||h||A failure notification system that provides an audible, text, or visual notification of any failure in the surveillance system, including, but not limited to, panic buttons, alarms, and video monitoring system. The failure notification system shall provide an alert to designated dispensing organization agents within 5 minutes after the failure, either by telephone or text message;|
|145||15-100||h||A duress alarm, panic button, and alarm, or holdup alarm and after-hours intrusion detection alarm that by design and purpose will directly or indirectly notify, by the most efficient means, the Public Safety Answering Point for the law enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction;|
|145||15-100||h||Security equipment to deter and prevent unauthorized entrance into the dispensary, including electronic door locks on the limited and restricted access areas that include devices or a series of devices to detect unauthorized intrusion that may include a signal system interconnected with a radio frequency method, cellular, private radio signals or other mechanical or electronic device.|
|145||15-100||h||All security system equipment and recordings shall be maintained in good working order, in a secure location to prevent theft, loss, destruction, or alterations.|