This month I’m taking a look at a specific cannabis technology: video. The CannaTech video universe is far more complex than you might imagine.
Video has at least three functions:
– Compliance: Cannabis entities from the grower to the retailer are required to have video solutions that conform to state regulations.
– Security: Like many other businesses, video surveillance is used for traditional security (like a bank lobby).
– Employee surveillance: You can better monitor employee behavior, including theft, with video solutions.
Not surprisingly, the rules for video differ by jurisdiction. But generally, regulations demand that cannabis businesses record activity in nearly every space inside a dispensary or production facility.
One anomaly from other technologies is the use of on-site storage to retain the video (cloud-based storage would be too expensive).
Here are examples of video requirements in four U.S. states and Canada:
– Alaska: Every Alaska cannabis business needs a complete security camera system that records areas around the clock and stores accessible video footage for at least 40 days. Security cameras must cover every business area that may contain marijuana, as well as 20 feet within all limited access areas.
– California: The Golden State requires 24-hour continuous filming, so that means motion-detection cameras are not allowed. In terms of quality, the video must be a minimum of 25 frames per second and have a minimum resolution of 720p. Storage retention is a minimum of 90 days on-site with no cloud allowed. Any outages exceeding four hours of downtime must be reported to the California Bureau of Cannabis Control.
– Colorado: Businesses must have 40 days of retained footage. Camera coverage must enable recording of the customers’ and employees’ facial features with sufficient clarity to determine identity. All camera views of all limited access areas must be continuously recorded 24 hours a day. The use of motion detection is authorized when a licensee can demonstrate that monitored activities are adequately recorded.
– Washington: At a minimum, a licensed premises must have a complete video surveillance system with minimum camera resolution of 640×470 pixels, or pixel equivalent for analog. The surveillance system storage device and/or the cameras must be internet protocol compatible. All cameras must be fixed, and placement must allow for the clear and certain identification of any person and activities in controlled areas of the licensed premises. All entrances and exits to an indoor facility must be recorded from both indoor and outdoor, or ingress and egress vantage points. You must have a minimum of on-site storage with no cloud storage allowed.
– Canada: At the federal level, Canada requires a minimum of one year of video retention.