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How to choose a video surveillance system for your cannabis business

How to choose a video surveillance system for your cannabis business
Key considerations in selecting video surveillance system for cannabis business.
Once illegal in many countries, the last decade has seen a huge shift in the attitude towards cannabis for medial or recreational use.

Read more in asmag.com's Cloud and Hybrid Video Surveillance Guide (Updated 2021)

In the United States, the fast-growing cannabis sector is likely to continue performing well, with analysts expecting a continued CAGR of up to 20 percent through to 2027, driven by the increasing legalization of cannabis for medical as well as adult recreational use.

The decriminalization and legalization of cannabis, is often accompanied by tight regulation. Many regulators around the world require a video surveillance solution on-site to monitor and secure the business, and it is also in the interest of the growers themselves. Cannabis farms can be a lucrative target for criminals. This is why Cannabis is one of the fastest growing verticals in the security industry.

When selecting a video surveillance solution to secure a cannabis operation, pay attention to the following items:

Know the relevant regulatory requirements

Each country has its own regulations regarding the type of security and video surveillance systems required for a cannabis business. Regulations may vary between facilities (i.e. different for the growing facility or a store where cannabis is sold). Pay attention to requirements like minimum video resolution, camera placement, required video retention and if you should have the equipment on-prem, or is a cloud solution acceptable.

Is there a need for specialized equipment?

Pay close attention to the operational requirements of your facility and see if you need non-standard equipment (explosion proof or IP rated). Butane is a solvent-based extraction method and is the most favorable, most efficient, safest and cleanest method to remove THC (the active substance) from the marijuana plants, providing the highest yields, allowing for the widest range of consumable products.

However Butane is flammable and explosive and the extractions operations must be safely performed in a ventilated environment. Due to gas exposure, these hazardous extraction rooms must comply with codes and demand a safe, explosion proof environment, eliminating potential for ignition from the vapors.

Go for an integrated approach

A video system should not only be used to retrieve evidence after an incident. Many systems today allow integration with intrusion detection systems, access control ststems and license plate recognition. This will help you turn your video system into a proactive tool, helping you to validate alarms, identify risks and send alerts in a timely manner and not post-fact.

Consider a hybrid cloud approach

Many vendors offer a cloud video surveillance solution for the flexibility of remote viewing and monitoring. Cannabis facilities are often located in rural areas, and due to their location, may only have the option of satellite or cellular internet access.

The impact of connectivity costs may be serious, continuous cloud recording and streaming can restrict video resolution and require significant internet bandwidth. In addition, any disruption to the internet connection will cause loss of video footage.

A cloud-managed system that records to a local hard drive or an SD card in the camera itself is a solution that helps mitigate this risk, while offering remote access to video when needed.

Further Reading: Hybrid cloud video surveillance: What you need to know
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