Cannabis and Security
The new year 2019 is brimming with possibilities for the physical security industry, but will those possibilities prove to be good news or bad news for our market? Inevitably, it will be a combination of good and bad, but how much good and how bad? We wanted to check the temperature of the industry as it relates to expectations for the new year, so we asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How optimistic is your outlook for the physical security industry in 2019? Why?
March Networks, a global provider of advanced video surveillance and video-based business intelligence solutions, is pleased to announce its complete lineup for Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2018. In addition to the company’s industry-leading solutions for financial, retail and transportation organizations, March Networks will showcase its newly launched Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for quick service restaurant (QSR) and convenience store (c-store) franchisees, as well as its se...
March Networks, a global provider of advanced video surveillance and video-based business intelligence solutions, is pleased to announce its complete lineup for Global Security Exchange (GSX) 2018. Intelligent Video Solutions In addition to the company’s solutions for financial, retail and transportation organizations, March Networks will showcase its newly launched Software as a Service (SaaS) offering for quick service restaurant (QSR) and convenience store (c-store) franchisees, as we...
CannaGuard Security is excited to announce that it is now offering franchising opportunities across the U.S. with international opportunities to follow. The company currently services the legal cannabis industry by providing overly compliant security systems for licensed growers and retailers in the medical and recreational/adult-use markets. Through a strategic partnership with Cannabis Security they can now expand to meet the needs of a flourishing industry. CannaGuard Security is adapting th...
It's no secret that one of the next market segments to see exceptional growth nationwide is somewhat non-traditional: cannabis. The global cannabis market is projected to reach $60 billion by 2024, according to Ameri Research, fueled by the increasing legalisation and decriminalisation across much of the United States. It is estimated that 22 million pounds of marijuana are grown each year in the United States, with 80 percent coming from California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii and Washington,...
The stigma of the cannabis industry still hangs in the balance Final installment of 4-part series:The legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado and Washington, along with it medical use in about 23 other states, has created an industry made up mostly of small mom-and-pop operators. “While the revenues in this industry are big, the number of people involved is pretty small,”said one security industry insider. That’s about to change as Wall Street...
Engaging with the cannabis industry for security companies has become debatable as it is yet to legalize nationally Third instalment of 4-part series: One question that comes up when talking about security for the cannabis industry is “why aren’t there more companies getting into the business?” While a number of small operators and larger companies have begun offering their services to marijuana retailers, some very big players have largely passed on the opportunity. According to a report by CNNMoney, security giant ADT won't "sell security services to businesses engaged in the marijuana industry because it is still illegal under federal law." It has also dropped those clients it already had, according to reports. The reluctance of some companies to serve an industry that many consider a bit shady has opened the market to companies without such qualms. “We’ve gotten in on the ground floor here, and we’re definitely dedicating resources to growing this vertical,” asserts Roger Ralston, chairman and CEO of DirectView, a New York-based security company. The company has a wide variety of clients and doesn’t specialize in cannabis security as have some companies, but Ralston sees considerable upside in getting in early and gaining market share. The security firms that are refusing to work with the industry are doing so for a variety of reasons. Either they don’t want to offend other customers who may be opposed to legalization or in some cases owners or management are personally opposed to the industry, according to Ralston. “There is also a big stigma there that the industry is made up of a bunch of hippies who have dreadlocks and won’t pay their bills and don’t really know what they are doing,” says Dan Williams, president and CEO of Denver-based Canna Security America. “We found that’s not the case.” Cannabis industry observers say companies need the services of experienced security companies. "There is also a big stigma there that the industry is made up of a bunch of hippies who have dreadlocks and won’t pay their bills and don’t really know what they are doing" “We haven’t really developed best practices within the industry,” admits Taylor West, deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “We do have members who are security companies that specialize in cannabis clients.” West says a wide mix of companies are now working with cannabis clients, ranging from newly minted security companies to established players with clients in many different industry verticals. “We have certainly seen a lot of the folks who have gotten into the industry on the security side and are now expanding their services to specialize in the issues cannabis businesses have to be particularly concerned about,” says West. As with many other retailers, the basic concerns revolve around protecting product and cash. The difference is that the unique nature of the industry has amplified those issues to an even higher level. Consider all that cash. Most banks have shied away from offering banking services to the industry either out of concern for the air of illegality that still surrounds the business or the high degree of regulations required by the federal government of banks who offer dispensaries and growers business accounts. The result is an all-cash business that can be a tempting target for thieves and also present concerns for employee-fueled shrinkage. “Well, they tend to keep their monies in safes,” says Robert McVay, a partner with Seattle-based Canna Law Group. “They keep the money either on site, or preferably find an offsite location to store it. They’re using an armored car to deliver it to that offsite location.” In Washington state, where McVay practices, only a handful of financial institutions – most of them credit unions and small community banks – are willing to take on cannabis sellers. Some store owners may conceal the true nature of their operation from the bank, but risk having their accounts closed when the bank conducts an audit. Holding a large amount of cash creates a number of financial difficulties, including paying employees and other vendors along with taxes. “They’re all doable, but it’s hard running as an all cash business,” adds McVay. A lack of banking services has created greater demand for physical security services including guards and armored cars. Canna Security America recently started providing both of those products to cannabis sellers, according to Williams. “A lot of dispensaries are contracting with security companies that develop specific plans for transporting their cash to particular locations and managing that process,” says West. “So the cash issue is a big one.” See related articles: Part 2: Cannabis and Security: Technology solutions provide protection for emerging legalised marijuana industryPart 1: Cannabis and Security: The security challenges of legalised marijuana sales in the United States
The growing market for legal marijuana (now available in some form in 24 states) has also generated a demand for security products and service to protect the industry from illegal activities. “For the most part, companies are looking for what we call the traditional surveillance systems whereby you have visible deterrence,” says Monty Henry, president of DPL-Surveillance-Equipment.com LLC in Ventura, Calif. Many companies are seeking more sophisticated systems that can help them deal with employee theft, as well as monitoring for outside break-ins, according to Henry. “We put more emphasis on the (security) systems that you don’t see,” he explains. “If your employees are running off with cash or merchandise, then you need to focus on (preventing) inside jobs. Many of our clients come to us because they want to know what is going on with internal theft and shrinkage. They want us to give them the tools they need to know what is going on internally." Along with cameras, Henry’s company also provides GPS devices to track the movement of company vehicles. He has also found a growing demand for services such as sweeps to detect listening devices placed within the store or facility by competitors. “Like any business that makes money, competitors usually want to find out how you make money,” says Henry. “They want to know ‘why are you profitable compared to the other guy?’” The prime advantage of working with established security companies is the opportunity to buy a complete package of security equipment along with the services needed to maintain and monitor them. Each state with a cannabis industry has drafted strict guidelines for minimum security for dispensaries. These regulations demand commercial-grade II non-residential locks for all entry ways, professional grade cameras with minimum resolution and pixel levels and a host of other products such as panic alarms. Colorado’s security manual specifies, “All entrances and exits to the facility shall be recorded from both indoor and outdoor vantage points, and capable of clearly identifying the individual entering or exiting the facility.” Each state with a cannabis industry has drafted strict guidelines for minimum security for dispensaries “The goal is make sure they don’t just buy something off the shelf at Costco,” says Dan Williams, CEO of Canna Security America (CSA). DirectView recently entered the Colorado market earlier this year by winning a trio of contracts. These deals involved the installation of a comprehensive package of security and surveillance equipment at each facility. Among the products were IP megapixel security cameras, NVRs and intrusion alarm systems. The three deals generated $140,000 in revenue, according to a company press release. The company has also expanded beyond the strictly security field to include installation of temperature and light monitoring devices for cannabis grow houses, according to president and CEO Roger Ralston. When Canna Security America got into the market, it was strictly a product and service provider. Founded in 2009, the operation is now a $4.2 million company. “We put in alarm systems, cameras and door access controls,” says Williams. “Those were our primary services apart from monitoring and providing the offsite video backup.” Last year the company formed a subsidiary to provide armed security guards and physical transport of product and cash. Named the Cloverton Group (a play on the famous Pinkerton’s security), this division has recruited ex-military personnel including veterans of private security contractors such as Blackwater. “We’re trying to position ourselves as a one stop shop for the cannabis industry,” says Williams. With stores holding large amounts of cash, the need for armed guards has become an obvious growth area for companies. "Those companies that can offer a complete solution are likely to garner more business and more market share," he adds.
The decriminalisation of marijuana has left the security industry apprehensive to collaborate with the industry If ever there was a market tailor-made for security companies, it’s the growing cannabis industry. Although only two states – Colorado and Washington – currently allow the sale of recreational marijuana and 22 other states permit limited medical use, many within the industry believe the tide has turned in favor of legalisation. [After the recent election, recreational sale of marijuana will become legal in Alaska and Oregon in 2015, and in the District of Columbia (subject to Congressional review). Coming with the ability to cultivate, harvest, process and sell marijuana to the public is a complex set of regulations and strict oversight. The transition to open sale has been sometimes rocky as states have taken different approaches to ensuring the once illegal weed is safe and not diverted to fuel a black market. Those requirements have heightened an already obvious need for professional security. In addition, this market is likely to grow – and perhaps grow quickly – in the coming years. For those security companies who have gotten in early, the prospect of gaining and keeping market share is a real incentive. “It’s a fantastic opportunity,” declares Roger Ralston, chairman and CEO of New York-based security provider DirectView. “We’ve been really hitting the ground hard and leading the way in providing security in the cannabis space.” Marijuana legalisation has drawn the attention of a number of companies. Many have marketed directly to operators, but others – including big names like ADT – have said they won’t serve the industry. This new industry vertical represents challenges to any security company that wants to get in on the action. The most daunting is dealing with the specific and detailed governmental regulations on security for stores and grow houses. “One of the biggest inspections they face is for security,” adds Ralston. Colorado devotes 15 tightly-spaced pages of regulations to describing the types of cameras, digital recorders and other security equipment dispensaries must have on site, even describing the placement and amount of backup footage needed. Marijuana legalisation represents challenges to any security company that wants to get in on the action “So if someone were to break in and destroy your digital video recorder, that video would in real time be pushed to an offsite cloud-based system,” explains Dan Williams, president and CEO of Denver-based Canna Security America, who assisted state regulators in drafting security requirements. Passing inspection requires that stores use professional grade cameras and a select number of digital video recorders. The goal is to ensure that images are crisp and easily accessible to investigators and police, explains Williams. A typical store needs about a dozen cameras, each located to survey a particular angle. At least one camera provides coverage of the monitoring room itself. This system is often complemented by motion detectors, infrared sensors and flood lights. The states have also adopted a “seed to sale” approach to monitoring. Growers must be able to account for where their plants go, how they are processed into usable products and finally sold to customers. Along with RFID tracking of containers, growers and processors also install their own cameras. Vendors use industrial scales to weight the product. A camera is positioned above to read the scale so that data can be recorded for record keeping. “It’s a product that grows, and that’s probably the biggest problem in tracking,” says Williams. While there have been relatively few reports of crimes committed against dispensaries, the potential is great. A pound of weed can go for as much as $2,000 and most stores have large amounts of cash on site, say industry insiders. “There’s a strong physical threat, but trying to mitigate or combat it is difficult because of the state laws and the fact there’s no use of firearms (at dispensaries),” says Eric Young, president of the Seattle Cannabis Association. “Some of the guys feel they are under-protected.” Finding out where dispensaries are located is an easy task despite many owners’ reluctance to speak to the press and advertise. “The state actually provides a list of where these suppliers and producers and processors are located on a map,” says Young. “That is a big concern to a lot of folks in the industry, because for someone with criminal intent, here’s a road map.”
Most retailers invest in a video surveillance solution to improve security. Many also use it as an investigation tool to help resolve customer disputes, liability claims and reduce losses from theft and fraud. Intelligent Video Solutions Complete Releaf relies on its intelligent video solution for all of those reasons, however compliance with state regulations was the primary objective when CEO and owner Eric Ryant started looking for a video system for his new, 3,000 square foot cannabis dispensary in Lafayette, Colorado. Unlike many other types of retail environments, cannabis dispensaries must comply with strict rules governing the type of video surveillance equipment used, where cameras and equipment are placed, and how long video evidence must be retained. Already familiar with the regulations based on his experience operating a second dispensary and a cultivation center in Lafayette, Colorado, Ryant sourced multiple bids for his new video solution. In the end, I selected the March Networks proposal. It had everything I was looking for, including POS integration, and additional capabilities" POS Integration “Once all the bids were in, I went through the process of analyzing each one and ended up narrowing the contenders down to two,” said Ryant. “In the end, I selected the March Networks proposal from our systems integrator, Falcon Networks. The solution had everything I was looking for, including POS integration, and additional capabilities I thought might be useful down the road. It met all of the compliance criteria, and the price was comparable.” Prior to opening the boutique dispensary in January 2018, Ryant worked with its system integrator to design and install a fully-compliant video solution. IR Dome Cameras Today, IR dome cameras mounted inside the dispensary capture clear 4MP video of all activity at entrances and exits, in storage and equipment rooms, and at each point-of-sale (POS) system. In addition, 360° cameras are installed above the sales floor and in every corner to provide further panoramic coverage. The 360° cameras are also installed on the dispensary’s exterior to capture people entering and exiting, as well as any activity in the surrounding parking lot and back loading area. The cameras were selected and placed strategically to ensure that the system meets multiple legislated requirements, such as recording all activity occurring within 20 feet of any ingress/egress point, capturing clear video in all lighting conditions, and making sure that the recorded video is sharp enough to identify customer and employee facial features at each POS. Hybrid Network Video Recorder At the center of Complete Releaf’s video solution is a hybrid network video recorder (NVR) At the center of Complete Releaf’s video solution is a hybrid network video recorder (NVR). The recorder provides IP and analog video capture and unparalleled reliability through features such as diagnostic LEDs, an internal battery backup, and a customized embedded Linux operating system. All IP channel licenses are included with the recorder, making it a convenient and cost-effective option for the dispensary. Equally important, the recorder provides Complete Releaf with 32TB of internal storage, so it is compliant with the state’s 40-day video retention requirement. “Essentially, we need 100 percent coverage with no ‘blind spots’ on our retail floor, and a clear picture of people’s faces. It’s a truly reliable product, and we’ve had no difficulties achieving our 40 days of archived video,” said Ryant. Searchlight Intelligent Software While security and compliance were both top priorities for Ryant, finding a video solution that would also help him run Complete Releaf more efficiently – and profitably – was also important. That’s why he’s so pleased with the March Networks Searchlight for Retail application software he is also using. The intelligent software enables Ryant and his team to proactively identify and review suspect transactions using integrated video and transaction data pulled from the dispensary’s Green Bits POS system. It provides them with an easy-to-use loss prevention tool that reduces the time it takes to investigate incidents from hours to minutes. It also arms them with strong video and data evidence to support successful prosecutions or recoveries. Ryant is also testing the Searchlight application in his cultivation facility “Having video surveillance in our dispensary definitely deters theft,” said Ryant. “Combining the video with transaction data goes a step further and really causes people to think twice before they do something they’ll probably regret.” Radio Frequency Identification Tags Ryant is also testing the Searchlight application in his cultivation facility, taking advantage of the software’s ability to integrate with data from the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags he is required to add to each plant through the cultivation process as part of Colorado’s Inventory Tracking System (Metrc). The software would enable Ryant to leverage his RFID investment by making the data searchable in the dashboard and tying it to recorded video. If there’s ever an incident during the cultivation process, Ryant could use the software to easily locate the video footage to see what actually happened and who was involved.
March Networks, a pioneer in the delivery of video surveillance and video-based business intelligence solutions to the cannabis industry, is pleased to announce that one of Canada’s largest cannabis producers has selected its complete cannabis video solution to provide security, loss prevention and operational insights for its retail dispensaries. The publicly-traded producer, with multiple brands and a global presence, chose the March Networks solution based on its proven reliability, ability to support thousands of locations, and its Searchlight business intelligence software. March Networks Searchlight provides organizations with valuable information on customer service, risk mitigation, corporate compliance and other operations through the integration of surveillance video, point-of-sale (POS) transaction data and customer data analytics. The solution delivers an enhanced level of tracking and compliance by correlating video with the RFID data in the Searchlight softwareEnhanced Level Of Tracking “Early on, we recognized the security and operational requirements of the tightly-regulated cannabis market and evolved our offering to uniquely address those needs,” said Peter Strom, President and CEO, March Networks. “Today, we are proud to be the solution of choice for cannabis operators, including this leading Canadian-based producer in advance of the legalisation of the country’s recreational marijuana market in October.” Just last week, the government of Ontario – Canada’s largest province by population – opened up the sale of marijuana to private retailers, reversing a previous decision that would have seen sales limited to government-run outlets only. Across the United States, March Networks currently works with multiple cannabis operators, providing intelligent video solutions for dispensaries and cultivation facilities. In states like Colorado, where radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging from seed to sale is mandated by law, the solution delivers an enhanced level of tracking and compliance by correlating video with the RFID data in the Searchlight software. The producer will be able to centrally manage the entire system and easily schedule software updates using March Networks Command Enterprise Server software Deploying NVRs And 3D Analytics Sensors In addition to March Networks Searchlight, the Canadian cannabis producer will deploy the company’s hybrid network video recorders (NVRs) in each retail store, as well as integrated 3D analytics sensors to gather valuable metrics on customer traffic and wait times. The producer will be able to centrally manage the entire system and easily schedule software updates using March Networks Command Enterprise Server software. The powerful video management software is an ideal solution for organizations with multiple distributed locations, providing capabilities such as mass device management and LDAP integration to enable secure multi-level user access and authentication. It also delivers remote system health monitoring to ensure video is always there when needed – a critical feature to help ensure cannabis operators remain compliant with video surveillance requirements at all times.
A security system provided by Hikvision USA Inc., the North American provider of innovative, award-winning video surveillance products and solutions, was installed by Denver-based A-1 Security Systems to meet all requirements set forth by Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) and to ensure comprehensive security at the newly retrofitted building for 14er Gardens in Boulder, Colorado. In 2017, Evan Anderson, owner of medical marijuana company, 14er Gardens, sought out the security expertise of Sofia Aguilar, sales manager and partner at A-1 Security Systems in Denver. The two had worked on previous projects together and Anderson was about to embark on a brand new, complex building retrofit in Boulder that had been in the planning stages for nearly two years. Aguilar worked closely with Anderson and his team to design a custom, high-end Hikvision security system A-1 excels at these types of projects, mid-sized commercial with access control and surveillance needs, and Aguilar has designed and installed hundreds of Hikvision security systems at growing facilities throughout Colorado since moving from Texas in 2008 to join A-1 as a business partner. Aguilar is a member of the national board of the Electronic Security Association and a board president for the state chapter of the Colorado Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. Hikvision’s Pro Series NVRs Aguilar worked closely with Anderson and his team to design a custom, high-end Hikvision security system that deployed a total of 95 cameras for indoor and outdoor surveillance and used Hikvision’s Pro Series NVRs for storage.All of 14er gardens are indoor facilities that meticulously control growth quality of the plants. “Outdoor growing facilities do exist,” said Anderson. “But they don’t deliver the consistent product quality every month of the year. Our approach is more of a manufacturing model, versus an agricultural endeavor.” He adds that his top two most important contractors on a job are the HVAC, due to the volume of lighting required to control the climate, and the security contractor, who is critical to securing his product and overall operation. A-1 received a set of project plans and was asked to design a comprehensive Hikvision security system with high-end cameras and NVRs that met the MED storage requirements for 40 days of on- and off-site recording. Aguilar calls what she does an “art,” and said this project offered her the chance to apply her creativity to design a comprehensive surveillance system to protect Anderson’s investment. Aguilar's top two most important contractors on a job are the HVAC, due to the volume of lighting required “It’s advantageous for growers to buy or build-out larger facilities to increase production. With that comes the demand for high-end, large-scale security systems with impeccable visual quality,” said Aguilar. She adds that growers who’ve used low-end systems often experience higher rates of break-ins, and if a camera has poor image quality it means lack of clear facial features in video images to help identify culprits. The Boulder Project The Boulder project began with the complete gutting of an existing two-story building that had previously been used as office space. Renovations included the re-pouring of all concrete with a total construction investment “that cost three to four times what we paid for the building,” said Anderson. Anderson’s venture into the marijuana industry in Colorado began in 2008, before regulatory standards had been established. “We installed comprehensive security systems before it was ever required,” he said. Anderson has worked with the MED to establish best practices and guidelines for securing these types of facilities. Initially, Colorado planned to establish a central monitoring station to link IP cameras from all marijuana growers throughout the state. A third-party consultant was brought in to evaluate this proposal and due to the sheer size of the industry, determined the model would use about ten percent of the state’s total bandwidth. Following that assessment, the Colorado regulatory model for security shifted to a requirement that growers keep 40 days of on-site and 40 days of off-site video recordings per camera, although most entities keep more than that on hand, said Anderson. The Colorado regulatory model for security states that growers must keep 40 days of on-site and off-site video recordings per camera Access Security Footage Remotely “Hikvision systems and A-1 security became the standard we use to operate. The Hikvision system offers a better platform that is more affordable then prior systems we used,” said Anderson. With Hikvision’s iVMS-4200 app, Anderson can access footage on his smartphone and PC, and easily show officials what is happening at a moment’s notice. “I was an art major with a minor in photography and worked in commercial photography for several years. My mantra is to fill the frame with the image you want,” said Aguilar. “My pet peeve is not using enough cameras to provide good facial recognition or worse, using great megapixel cameras and dumbing them down because the NVR is not powerful enough to handle the camera’s best quality.” Aguilar recommended multiple 32-channel Hikvision NVRs that are not at full capacity, in the unlikely event that a hard drive fails the remaining recorders will continue to work. “I can honestly say the Hikvision recorders have never failed,” said Aguilar. “Being a Hikvision Platinum dealer, A-1 offers a five-year warranty. We feel confident in the system we install without concern that we will need to return to a site just to repair a broken recorder.” A total of 95 security cameras were used to complete the system, with about half used indoors and the other half placed outside of the facility Increased Throughput, Larger Capacity A-1 installed the Hikvision Pro Series DS-9632NI-I8 NVRs, a 32-channel model with 48 terabytes (TB) of internal storage, providing increased throughput and larger capacity to meet MED storage requirements. Aguilar stacks the NVRs and uses an external server, which requires slightly more investment, but offers the client greater bandwidth to stream large amounts of data more quickly. In Anderson’s case, this is critical since the state of Colorado can ask to see recorded footage with little advanced notice. A total of 95 security cameras were used to complete the system, with about half used indoors and the other half placed outside of the facility for perimeter, outdoor entrance and parking lot surveillance. Indoor And Outdoor Capabilities For indoor coverage, A-1 installed Hikvision’s DS-2CD2135FWD-I 3MP Ultra-Low Light Network Dome camera to cover all rooms containing product, and all exits and entrances, which is an MED requirement. This dome camera is actually designed as an outdoor model, which Aguilar selected for indoor use because of its vandal-proof rating, weather resistance, and clear imagery during day or evening conditions. Video surveillance covers every square inch of the facility, greatly improving operational efficiency “We can turn off the IR feature in the growing area but leave it on in the hallways and other areas where it can help with image quality (trim, drying, packing, vault, etc.),” said Aguilar. “Weather resistance means no need to worry about chemicals, nutrients, misting or watering, and it is a very hot, humid environment. These are live plants that require all these things to survive and thrive like hothouse tomatoes or tropical plants. And the environment is either very brightly lit or pitch black, mimicking an outdoor environment.” In the grow rooms, lights are placed vertically and each room has rows of product with a three-foot space in between for people to walk while tending plants. A-1 placed indoor cameras at the end of product rows and at accessible wall areas to provide 360-degree coverage. The building exterior was secured using Hikvision’s DS-2CD2T55FWD-I5 Outdoor Network Bullet camera featuring 5MP of resolution, 120 dB Wide Dynamic Range and Digital Noise Reduction. Aguilar “likes the 5MP varifocal models for parking lots. I install them in crisscross fashion to provide blanket coverage with the capability to zoom in on parking lot entrances.” 24/7 Efficient Video Surveillance Video surveillance covers every square inch of the facility, greatly improving operational efficiency. “The system is great! I can watch my guys at all times from anywhere,” said Anderson. Surveillance cameras record non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week since MED requirements do not allow motion-activated recording. Surveillance cameras record non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week since MED requirements do not allow motion-activated recording To install the system, A-1 had to overcome challenges associated with an older concrete building that was “built like a bunker” with an architectural accent bar along the roof perimeter. The constraint required them to pipe and core drill through exterior concrete and run wires through conduits or O-rings that were hammer-drilled into the seams every four feet. The entire Boulder facility is run through a mobile platform. “This project involved a new level of detail and control compared with our previous projects and is a fully-automated monster,” said Anderson. “At our last facility, we had seven growers. The Boulder facility is four times as big as the last one and we only need two growers due to extensive automation.” 14er moved from physical-based labor to web-based controls. User-Friendly Remote Viewing The Hikvision iVMS-4200 platform helps 14er with automation by providing better integration, reduced cost and user-friendly remote viewing. “Older systems were built more for an IT or security systems expert, not for clients to have a convenient system they could easily use,” said Anderson. “Hikvision’s iVMS platform helps us keep impeccable records of everything in the cloud, so when the state of Colorado contacts us for immediate access to recordings, we can easily provide them.” A-1 helped to develop standards for video surveillance and storage that have become industry best practice “Achieving the MED-required 40 days of on-site and off-site recordings is a big deal,” said Sofia Aguilar, sales manager and partner at A-1 Security. "With the Hikvision iVMS system they were able to build a platform around Hikvision products, solving the state’s problem of how to record at a reasonable price.” Hikvision worked with technology partner byRemote to develop software that utilizes Hikvision’s iVMS product to record off-site, said Aguilar. “Customers wanted higher-end systems without the cost associated with the old encoders,” said Aguilar. “The Hikvision partnership with byRemote offered exactly what the market demanded.” Powerful Video Security System Aguilar initially had reservations about marijuana as a vertical focus for A-1 Security Systems, believing it was too high-risk and if grower’s operations were shut down, A-1 would quickly lose its customer base. Eventually her business partner, Leif Wulforst, convinced her that marijuana was a viable business. A-1 helped to develop standards for video surveillance and storage that have become industry best practice. Cultivating a relationship with growers such as Anderson from 14er gardens led to the development of a surveillance system that met strict MED storage regulations while providing ease of viewing for end users and the state regulatory body. Hikvision’s high resolution security cameras combined with its Pro Series NVRs in delivering a high performing solution at an affordable price to help the market thrive.
Vicon Industries, designer and manufacturer of video surveillance and access control software, hardware and components, announced that it is working closely with the State of Sinaloa, Mexico to create a statewide surveillance network that unifies the systems of all of its metropolitan areas, including the cities of Culiacan, Mazatlan, Los Mochis and others. The new statewide initiative, built upon Valerus VMS software, will allow for greater coordination between all municipalities and their law enforcement agencies in their efforts to combat the influence of powerful drug cartels entrenched within the region. Valerus’ 100% web-based and true open standards VMS software will provide the state with a more secure, responsive environment capable of providing a single-seat view of its entire security domain. The new statewide initiative, built upon Valerus VMS software, will allow for greater coordination between all municipalities Security And Life-Safety Operations A new, state-of-the-art facility in Culiacan, the state’s capital, serves as a centralized coordination hub for security and life-safety operations at the city, municipal and state levels. Expansive video walls, recording servers and monitoring stations provide operators with access to all cameras within their respective domains, with the ability to share video across departments as necessary. There are currently over 1000 Vicon security cameras in Culiacan, along with 800 special license plate reading cameras custom developed by Vicon for this project. Ultimately, there will be approximately 4800 cameras in Culiacan alone, with thousands more across the other cities. A new, state-of-the-art facility in Culiacan, the state’s capital, serves as a centralized coordination hub for security and life-safety operations Centralized Security System M.C. Jose de Jesus Galvez, the state’s Secretary of Innovation and close aide to the Governor, says that Vicon’s Valerus is able to provide a centralized system, with localised control and operation, which is flexible enough to work with much of the equipment already in place in each city. Plus, the cost to purchase and install Valerus was less than for other video management systems, providing long-term, recurring savings that he will then be able to invest in additional equipment and system expansion over time. Maria Bustamante-Prada, Vicon’s International Sales Manager, explains, “Vicon has successfully supported the city of Culiacan’s security needs for many years, and our proven commitment to customer satisfaction was an important factor in earning the confidence of the state. This is a huge investment for them, and they know that we will be there to support them at every step.” Vicon has successfully supported the city of Culiacan’s security needs for many years" Crime Prevention “This is a very ambitious project for us,” says M.C. Galvez. “We hope to use every function of Valerus to help lower the crime rate and better protect the citizens of Sinaloa. We understand that video isn’t the only way we will achieve this, but it’s a very important part and can help us bring other systems together to be more effective. We’re excited about the possibilities.”
March Networks®, a global provider of intelligent IP video solutions, and KIND Financial, a provider of cannabis compliance technology, have partnered to deliver an enhanced tracking and security solution to the cannabis industry to help ensure seed-to-sale compliance. The solution combines video from high-resolution IP cameras with data from radio frequency identification (RFID)-tagged plants and packages, enabling operators to seamlessly track and visually verify inventory as it moves within cultivation and on to dispensaries. Solving Anomalies Using the March Networks Searchlight™ for Retail data analytics platform, licensed growers, producers, and retailers can run searches on a wide range of data contained in the RFID tags, including a plant’s ID code and its last detected location. In the case of an anomaly, such as missing inventory, users can quickly access the associated video footage to see exactly where the item went and who was involved. The clear video eliminates assumptions about what’s occurred and provides strong evidence to support further investigation. In addition, the Searchlight solution provides producers and dispensaries with real-time and historical views into their operations via a mobile device or workstation, enabling them to conduct remote audits and identify areas for improvement. It also offers video analytics and point-of-sale (POS) transaction integration presented in customizable reports to help dispensary owners quickly detect and review suspect transactions, analyze performance trends, improve customer service and gain other business insights. The Searchlight/RFIDsolution is a clear complement to KIND’s comprehensive cannabis-business lifecycle platform Seed-to-sale Law The solution is an ideal fit for the cannabis industry, where regulations such as Colorado’s HB 1284 legislation – commonly known as the seed-to-sale law – have seen many businesses deploying RFID technology to help ensure compliance with strict mandates governing the tracking of plants from cultivation to sale. It also provides an additional layer of visual verification linked to RFID data as part of KIND Financial’s end-to-end plant tracking and management platform. The platform, which also includes Bluetooth (BLE)-enabled tracking technology, enables cannabis manufacturers, processors, and retailers to automate processes, remove manual entry issues, and track their teams and assets while also keeping the business in adherence with cannabis industry regulations and guidelines. Automated Manufacturing “We are pleased to be working with KIND Financial, a recognized leader in cannabis compliance technology, to bring our intelligent video expertise more broadly to this market,” said Jeff Corrall, Head of Strategic Partnerships, March Networks. “Our Searchlight / RFID solution is already deployed in several cultivation and dispensary facilities in the U.S. and is a clear complement to KIND’s comprehensive cannabis-business lifecycle platform.” “KIND is excited to be working with March Networks to extend these integrated and customized tools to the industry. This new partner solution will transport you to your location, hand you organized data, and point you to important events. In addition, the automation of manufacturing and supply chain processes will bring efficiencies and cost savings to clients while providing peace of mind that manual data entry issues are no longer possible,” said Dan Stofka, EVP of Engineering and Software, KIND Financial. March Networks (Booth 4716) and Kind Manage, LLC (Booth 4723) will showcase the Searchlight for Retail / RFID solution at MJBizCon, November 15-17 in Las Vegas, NV.