Committee Blog: The Benefits of Partnering with a Security Provider and What to Consider When Choosing One 

By Casey Mitchell, Vector Security
Member of NCIA’s Facilities Design Committee

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, security has become an increasingly important concern for consultants and business owners. From seed to sale, the cannabis industry faces a unique set of security challenges including permitting and compliance,  systems design, theft, and inventory loss.  

Add to these challenges a myriad of state laws and regulations that need to be followed. But, if you partner with the right security vendor, they can help you navigate regulations to make sure your business is compliant, as well as offer detailed security plans that  integrate with your business goals. 

Below are some benefits an experienced security provider can offer cannabis  consultants and business owners, and tips on how you can choose a partner that’s right  for you: 

Dedicated Team with Experience in State and Federal Regulations

An important factor to consider when choosing a security provider is their experience in the cannabis industry as well as security as a whole. How long has the company been in business? Do they have a team dedicated to the cannabis industry? How well-versed are they in cannabis laws and regulations? Do they provide comprehensive support from seed to sale? Look for a security provider that has a dedicated cannabis team that understands the regulatory landscape.

Permit Application Support and Permit Drawings 

One of the most challenging aspects of the cannabis industry is permitting and design.  An experienced security provider can review your state application to verify regulations  are met in order to maximize your score. They should be able to provide the narrative  for the permit application related to your security plan. Consider if they are able to  design a comprehensive security plan showing location of devices, rough in, power requirements, standard operating procedures, and network requirements. Look for a  security partner that provides these services, and inquire if these services are free or if  there is an additional charge. 

Trade Coordination 

There are a lot of moving parts that go into getting a cannabis business up and  running… and even beyond. A good security provider can coordinate with builders, construction companies, power companies/utilities, architects, and other partners for streamlined deployment of the system.

Alarm Monitoring 

An essential part of security is protecting inventory from internal and external theft as  well as environmental threats like fire. Rapid response and quick emergency dispatch are key should an incident occur. Look for providers that offer 24/7/365 in-house alarm  monitoring, and redundant communication capabilities, and ask if their monitoring centers are U.L.-listed. They should also have false alarm protocols in place so your business can avoid costly fines associated with false dispatch. 

Ongoing Service and Support 

Even if your business is operational, you’ll still benefit from the ongoing support an experienced security partner can provide. If the security vendor provides a single point of contact, it’s easier to schedule service, inspections, monitoring, and other critical  needs, ensuring your facilities remain fully functional. Ask if your security partner provides post-installation service and support including ongoing testing and inspections to remain compliant with the authority having jurisdiction. 

Whether you’re a cannabis consultant or a business owner, look for security providers with industry experience; permitting, compliance, and design expertise; customized security solutions; reliable alarm monitoring; and cost-effective solutions. By choosing the right security partner, cannabis businesses can mitigate security risks and ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. 

Casey Mitchell is an enterprise account manager for Vector Security’s dedicated cannabis solutions team. He has more than 22 years of experience designing security and communications systems for the U.S. Department of Defense and other highly-regulated industries, like cannabis. 

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