Cannabis security regulations need to be standardized

March 30, 2020

Cannabis security regulations need to be standardized

As the cannabis industry continues to grow and develop, experts agree that security requirements and regulations need to be standardized with guidance from the government. Here’s a summary of what was reported in a recent whitepaper on cannabis security, published by Canadian Security Magazine this March:


When recreational cannabis became legalized, there were strict security regulations imposed on the industry overall. This established a solid baseline and helped businesses roll out quickly and efficiently. However, as the industry has matured, cannabis security experts are re-assessing the current state and what solutions make sense for this ever-evolving market.


More consistency is needed across the country

During a roundtable discussion about cannabis security, hosted on January 22 by Canadian Security Magazine, the agreement among the eight participants was more consistency in terms of security requirements and regulations is needed across the board. Currently, there are inconsistencies between regions, provinces and towns, and even inspectors. For example, retail stores in Alberta need a secure storage room or vault that costs up to $100,000 to build, while in Ontario there can simply be a door or pass-through window.


As details were overlooked due to a rush to market, it’s created confusion. A recommendation from one security professional at the meeting, was for Health Canada to meet with security experts in the cannabis industry and agree on detailed, specific, clear and consistent regulations that are not open to interpretation.


Charles Ethier, GardaWorld’s major accounts director for security systems, believes that while attitudes are changing, the challenge security professionals face these days is coming up with integrated systems that make sense, as opposed to just installing a system to comply with regulations.


Technology and transportation are key areas to address

From camera requirements within cultivating areas to regulations around the transportation of cannabis, there is inconsistency that continues to create challenges. The unclear guidelines from the government leave businesses unsure of how to interpret the current rules.


Security experts also believe there are plenty of technologies available to protect buildings and product, but Health Canada has to be more open to accepting new technologies that are proven to work.


GardaWorld is well-positioned to offer cannabis-related security services

As a private security company, we have the ability to provide services for the cannabis industry for the whole supply chain. “We have physical security, staffing, transportation, guarding which is one of our big segments, and newly added to the family is the electronical security division,” explains Ethier. “Our services are tailored to the customer's need as well as the producer's and extractor's.”


Canada leads the way in cannabis security

The security experts believe that the experiences within the recreational cannabis industry here in Canada, will help educate other countries.


Ethier explains: “Never have I seen a new business boom from the start and to be able to grow to a standard where other countries and government regulators are looking to see what we don't do well, what we do best, and what we can do to improve this sector which, I think, will be flourishing for years to come.”


While it may be difficult to change the rules in the U.S. due to the states legislating the industry, Canada is in a unique place to export their expertise to the world, and despite the learnings, our country has done many things very well.

Read more about GardaWorld’s cannabis transport and security services.