Even if it wasn’t a legal requirement, you absolutely have to use security video cameras in your cannabis grow operation. Without successful growing operations, the entire cannabis industry would collapse into nothing.
Every state has a set of unique legal requirements for keeping an eye on your plants, product, cash, and staff. Video surveillance in cannabis grow operations has two main purposes: security and product safety. Every cannabis grow operation needs superb live and recorded video surveillance quality.
Video surveillance throughout your grow means you can remotely monitor your plants 24/7. We highly recommend having HD cameras all over your grow rooms. Having at least 1080p/2MP is a good start, but nothing beats 4K/8MP.
The higher your resolution, the less likely you are to lose plants. Being able to zoom in to see how your leaves are doing, if your buds are looking good, and just about every physical aspect of growing your cannabis plants can save you thousands in the short and long term.
There is nothing like the freedom of not having to spend 24/7 inside your grow. If you have the right equipment and software hooked up to your cell phone and/or tablet, you can cultivate from a distance as your team makes minute adjustments to allow your flower to flourish.
The first step to running a successful cannabis grow room operation is comprehensive security and surveillance. No only is it essential in maintaining business and inventory integrity, it is also required by law.
Cannabis Grow Security Requirements
Every state has unique requirements for video surveillance in cannabis grow operations. However, almost all of them require the following:
- Positive identification of every individual entering the premises
- Correct disposal of trash and cannabis products
- Secure every entrance and exit, including gated areas
- Cameras at every point-of-sale location that positively identifies every patient, customer, and salesperson
- Failure notification systems that alert you to any power outages or drops in video monitoring systems
- Battery backups in case of failure or power outages
- Safe storage of all cannabis products in a locked safe or vault
- Video surveillance should be running 24/7
- Retain footage for a minimum amount of time, usually more than 90 days
- (depending on your state, your storage options will vary)
The Criminal Cannabis Risk
As we’ve said in other blogs, grow operations are notoriously at-risk of theft. Though many break-ins and robberies never make the news, grow operations can also be hit by organized criminals multiple times in a month. This speaks to the paramount importance of effective cannabis security in your business.
In fact, you’d be amazed how many criminals break into the same grow operation in the same month to try and steal products they’ve already stolen (most criminals are not the sharpest minds). Though you shouldn’t keep cash on-site and your growth cycle can be upwards of eight weeks, criminals can still do serious damage to your property and make off with expensive equipment.
Video surveillance protects your assets, your team, and you by stopping repeat offenders and opportunists! There are also a lot of studies that suggest criminals are less likely to act when they know they’ll be filmed.
Plus, footage of criminals makes it easier for police to catch them afterward.
Keep Track of Staff
Along with physical crop cultivation, remote access to video surveillance footage in real-time allows you to keep track of your staff. We all want to think our staff will never do anything to hurt us.
Oftentimes, mistakes are made in a purely innocent fashion. Perhaps someone forgot to turn off the water. Maybe someone dropped a bag of trim destined for pre-rolls all over their woolen sweater.
However, you’re more likely to experience loss due to a staff member than you are from a hardened criminal. Remote video surveillance not only keeps track of your staff in real-time, but can allow you to backtrack through footage to see if and when someone has stolen valuable product.
Mitigate Grow Room Malfunctions
When it comes to lighting, water supply, and even the provision of pesticides and fertilizers, one wrong move in a cannabis grow can ruin a whole crop. Leave the lights on for 24 hours? Your plants might not make it. THC production in a cannabis plant depends on a consistent UVA/UVB light schedule.
Similarly, water and nutrient input must be regular and highly managed. Growing cannabis really is an artform, so surveying your crop when you’re not physically present can give you peace of mind that everything is going smoothly.
Securing Your Grow Room from Outdoor Pests
Cannabis aphids are known for extracting fluid from outdoor cannabis plants through precision feeding, which can cause serious problems for cannabis crops if enough of these little buggers get to them. Along with consuming the plant, these types of aphids secrete a gooey substance called “honeydew.” Honeydew can lead to serious fungal contaminations.
Russet mites are another bothersome pest that you will almost definitely come across throughout one or more stages of your grow cycle. According to Colorado State University, there is little known about how russet mites impact hemp and cannabis plants.
Different plants have different symptoms. We don’t mean different strains or types of cannabis; we mean each individual plant will be impacted uniquely by these little things. The most common reaction to russet mites is for your plants to turn a greyish color, MJBizDaily reported.
Corn earworms are the worst of the potential pests that can infest an outdoor cannabis grow. These caterpillar-looking creatures will eat everything from the flower to the stem. As soon as you notice one or two of these bugs, you need to act immediately.
In outdoor grows, security is everything. You can certainly deal with smaller bugs, but there are plenty of larger animals that can destroy a crop in just a few hours. Birds, moles, squirrels, racoons, and deer will all feast on your plants if they’re left unattended and unprotected.
Not all cannabis operations lose product and cash from organized gangs of criminals. Sometimes loss is passive, particularly in dispensaries where opportunists can pocket products or steal cash while too many backs are turned.
High Definition (HD) camera surveillance in dispensaries should cover the entire square footage of your store and loop into a live feed that can be accessed from your cell phone or tablet. In some states, this is a legal requirement, but again, it really is best practice.
When criminals break into dispensaries, they’re after two things: product and cash. Having cannabis security cameras at every entrance and exit is the first place to start in limiting your loss. We recommend having visible camera surveillance, as well as strategically placed video systems that cover the entire store that might not be as obvious to thieves.
However, not all criminals are so obvious. Unfortunately, a lot of cannabis operations are targeted by people already working inside the operation.
Grow With Woodrow
It’s important to note that you can’t legally launch your cannabis grow room or facility without a comprehensive video surveillance system.
Whether you need advice, support, or a full-scale system, Woodrow Technology Solutions is here to guide you every step of the way.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can get your grow operation up to compliance.
Creating Best Practices
When it comes down to it, you need a video surveillance security system no matter what type of cannabis operation you’re running.
Regardless of what government and law enforcement think and need, video surveillance is the best practice for any cannabis business owner.
If you still have questions, we can answer them all.