Cannabis, Marijuana, Pot – All Require Security Plans, Security Assessments, and Armed Security Guards

Marijuana dispensaries, grows, and manufacturing facilities require complex security plans, detail physical security improvements, and full time security teams.

Come January, recreational use of marijuana by adults will be legal in California. When voters opted to pass Proposition 64, they opened the door for California pot dispensaries to sell to adults for medicinal and commercial use, but it came at a price to those dispensaries. Marijuana retailers will be subject to new requirements for operation, including enhanced security mechanisms.

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a proponent of public safety, and as the state moves toward new and enhanced regulations for cannabis businesses, we find it important to delve into the requirements to ensure community safety.

An estimated 1,700 medical marijuana dispensaries are in operation in the Los Angeles region (check out this map). That is a lot of companies in need of enhanced security measures per city and state regulations.

In terms of site security, marijuana dispensaries will now be required to have video surveillance systems and on-site security. In Costa Mesa, shops that plan to remain open will have to submit new security plans to be reviewed by the police department. At minimum, such security plans under Prop 64 will include, at minimum, a “complete digital video surveillance system in accordance with the approved security plan with a minimum camera resolution of 1280 × 1024 pixels” per the city government Additionally, security cameras will need to be able to be monitored remotely.

With a quite involved set of stipulations related to their physical security and necessary operational improvements, it makes sense to not delay the process by trying to figure out the details alone and to work with a professional security consultant knowledgeable in the cannabis space to design and implement your security plan.

In addition, the use of contracted security personnel by pot shops will also be required in the city. In hiring a professional service that is consistently monitoring the location, ensuring all required gates and doors are locked, and watching surveillance footage as needed, cannabis industry business owners gain the ability to be secure in their cash-handling and product storage.

In addition to these security requirements, public safety stipulations will also be put into action. Marijuana dispensaries will have to be audited and renew their permits with the city annually.

It’s important to remember that a lot of the updated requirements for Los Angeles pot shops are directly related to a significant increase in robberies of these facilities. Because many these businesses were forced to be cash-only, the rate of theft was higher than other “normal” businesses. Some incidences of theft have even led to tragic deaths of on-site security officers who were unarmed — read the sad July 2017 story about a popular South LA marijuana dispensary that found their guard dead after an armed robbery.

So, what is the prime takeaway from all of these updates in security at cannabis businesses? Hire professionals who can protect your assets. This includes all dispensaries, manufacturing businesses, grows, and logistics businesses.

The laws that will go into effect January 1, 2019 enforce a culture of security. Cameras will need to be permanently mounted and consistently monitored. Security guards will need to be compliant with the State of California and City of Los Angeles and maintain an active American Red Cross First Aid card. AEGIS can help you.

All AEGIS officers are Bureau of Security and Investigative Services licensed and compliant. We hire the most professional staff to ensure you have top quality officers on site. Additionally, we have a growing staff of armed officers who have military and law enforcement experience. As such, we provide high quality services for all clients, ensuring we meet and exceed their needs.

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people tracing, and background investigation. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit