A Guide to Dispensary Security & Video Monitoring

As most commercial businesses, dispensaries are exposed to a number of threats, ranging from shoplifting to violence to fires to cyber attacks.

In this article, we will discuss what steps dispensary owners and managers can take to minimize these risks and increase safety for their workers, customers, and assets.

Installing effective access control solutions

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Access control solutions are one of the primary components of a dispensary security system. They can ensure that only authorized personnel can access private areas and help dispensary managers screen customers when they enter the store.

For example, a video intercom system can be used in certain situations by customers who want to gain access to the store. This could be the case for dispensaries that are open until very late.

To secure the private areas of the store and ensure that only authorized staff can access them, dispensary owners and managers can use various access control solutions. The most basic ones include card and fob readers that require users to swipe their cards or fobs to gain access.

Lately, it’s increasingly common to use digital credentials installed on users’ mobile devices as an alternative to physical ones.

For areas that contain particularly sensitive materials or data, owners and managers can consider installing biometric access control devices, such as facial recognition and fingerprint scanning technologies. They can also implement a multi-factor authentication (MFA) process that requires users to enter two or more credentials for access to be granted.

Setting up a modern video security system

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A solid video security system is another crucial component of a dispensary’s security strategy.

First of all, video cameras can be a powerful deterrent against criminals and other ill-intentioned individuals. Knowing that they are being watched and recorded decreases the chance that they will attempt to commit a crime on the promises.

Second, even when crimes are committed, the footage collected by video cameras can be used by the authorities to identify the culprit and as evidence in court.

Video cameras should be located in the store’s strategic outdoor and indoor areas. It’s vital to avoid blind spots, as these can be used by criminals to carry out their plans.

Connecting your video security system to the cloud can allow dispensary managers to access live footage from anywhere. This can be an effective way to supervise the store when it’s closed, and no staff is present.

Owners and managers should also consider the installation of video analytics software. This technology works by analyzing large quantities of footage to detect irregular patterns indicating suspicious activity and alert security personnel or the authorities when needed.

Locking expensive products in a safe

An effective safe can be a great way to protect products that are particularly valuable from shoplifting episodes or robberies.

A safe can be locked with a key or with a combination, making it more difficult for criminals to access its content. Many safes are also designed with fire-resistant materials to protect the event in case of natural accidents.

Safes can also protect products from damage caused by moisture and other environmental factors as they are often designed with waterproof seals and airtight compartments. This will ensure that any valuable items that are stored inside the safe will remain in a pristine condition and will not be damaged over time.

Installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

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Threats to a dispensary’s security don’t come only from criminals but also from natural events. One such event is a fire.

Smoke detectors work by detecting smoke and other particles in the air before triggering an alarm. This way, customers and workers have enough time to evacuate the premises quickly, and the first respondents can be alerted immediately.

Smoke detectors are relatively cheap and should be installed in all areas where smoke is more likely to accumulate (e.g., near heaters or flammable materials).

Dispensary owners and managers should also consider installing carbon monoxide detectors. These devices work in a similar way to smoke detectors, but they detect carbon monoxide gas instead. Since this gas is both odorless and colorless, these detectors can prevent serious accidents and even save lives.

Training staff on cybersecurity threats

Another type of threat doesn’t come from physical crimes and natural events but from cybercrime. Statistics show that in 2020, small businesses faced over 700,000 cyber attacks that resulted in a staggering $2.8 billion in damages. Stores need to defend themselves against these attacks by implementing effective cybersecurity measures.

In addition to installing the latest anti-virus and anti-malware software, dispensaries should train their employees on the best cybersecurity practices. This includes choosing strong passwords and recognizing phishing emails and scams. Training should be provided periodically to ensure employees stay updated with the most recent cybersecurity developments.

In Summary

Dispensary owners and managers need to take security seriously to ensure the safety of their workers, customers, and assets. Some of the most effective security measures include setting up video security systems, locking expensive products in a strong safe, installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and training staff on cybersecurity threats.