Colorado Marijuana Security Requirements

Colorado marijuana security requirements

In Colorado, medical and retail marijuana have been legalized. The Colorado state marijuana rules CCR 212-3 were finalized and became effective on January 1, 2020. 

Those engaged in the business of possessing, cultivating, dispensing, transferring, transporting, or testing Medical Marijuana or Retail Marijuana must be licensed in compliance with Colorado law. 

Per Colorado Marijuana Code, persons engaged in marijuana business activities must by duly licensed by the Colorado State Licensing Authority and approved by the relevant Local Jurisdiction and/or licensed by the relevant Local Licensing Authority.

Colorado Marijuana Security Regulations​

Colorado marijuana security regulations have been passed to ensure the adequate control of the Licensed Premises and Regulated Marijuana contained therein. 

Colorado has established minimum security requirements for video surveillance systems, alarm systems and locking systems. 

The security rules also cover fencing and lighting requirements for outdoor cultivation.

Colorado Marijuana Alarm Systems

Cannabis Burglar Alarm System

The security alarm systems and locking standards for Colorado marijuana establishments can be found in 3-220 of the code. 

Each licensed premises must have a Security Alarm System which has been installed by a professional Alarm Installation Company and must be installed on all perimeter entry points and perimeter windows. 

It’s the responsibility of the licensed marijuana businesses to ensure the alarm systems are continually monitored. Businesses are allowed to engage a third-party monitoring company to fulfill the requirement.

Security Record-keeping

A Colorado Licensee must maintain up-to-date and accurate records on the location and operation of each Security Alarm System with a schematic of the security zones. 

In addition, the Licensee must maintain current third-party contracts, the name of the professional Alarm Installation Company, and the name of the Monitoring Company, if applicable. 

The Colorado Licensee must make available all information related to the security alarm system, monitoring, and alarm activity.

Agents of the Division, relevant Local Licensing Authority or Local Jurisdiction, or state or local law enforcement agencies may request security system information for purposes authorized by the Marijuana Code or any other applicable federal, state, or local law or code.

Colorado Marijuana Cultivation Security Requirements

outdoor marijuana cultivation chain link fence with barbed wire

Colorado Marijuana Code includes specific security requirements for any outdoor cultivation, greenhouse, Medical Marijuana Facility or Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facility. 

These cultivation areas must be Limited Access Areas and must meet the security requirements as such accordingly. 

Licensed outdoor cultivators or greenhouse operators must provide sufficient security measures to demonstrate that outdoor or greenhouse areas are not readily accessible to unauthorized individuals.

Outdoor cultivators must maintain physical security, just as the greenhouse operators must for indoor Limited Access Areas, to ensure they are fully secured and alarmed. 

Colorado marijuana code requires these licensed business to install a perimeter fencing designed to prevent the general public from entering the Limited Access Areas and must meet the following requirements:

  1. The fence must be constructed of nine gauge or lower metal chain link fence or another similarly secure material and must measure at least eight feet from the ground to the top, or in the alternative, the fence may measure six feet from the ground to the top with a one foot barbed wire arm with at least three strands along the entire fence. Support posts must be steel and securely anchored.
  2. Gates of ingress or egress must measure at least eight feet from the ground to the top of the entry gate, or in the alternative, the gate may measure six feet from the ground to the top with a 1 foot barbed wire arm with at least three strands, and must be constructed of nine gauge or lower metal chain link fence or a similarly secure material.
  3. The fence must obscure the Limited Access Area from being easily viewed from outside the fence.
  4. Areas of ingress and egress of the fence must be illuminated to include a 20 foot radius from the point of ingress or egress. The required lights may be, but are not required to be, motion sensing.

Colorado Marijuana Cultivation Security Requirement Waivers

A Colorado Marijuana Licensee or Applicant may, in writing, request that the Division waive one or more of the security requirements described in the above bullets (1 – 4) by submitting a request on a form prescribed by the Division. 

The Division may approve the security waiver if it finds that the alternative safeguards proposed by the Licensee or Applicant for initial licensure meets the goals of Colorado marijuana security requirements or that the state security requirements are in conflict with a local ordinance.

The request for a security waiver shall include:

  1. The specific rules and subsections of a rule that is requested to be waived;
  2. The reason for the waiver;
  3. A description of an alternative safeguard the Licensee will implement in lieu of the requirement that is the subject of the waiver; and
  4. An explanation of how and why the alternative safeguard accomplishes the goals of the security rules, specifically public safety, prevention of diversion, accountability, and prohibiting access to minors.

Lock Standards

A Colorado Marijuana business must ensure the use of commercial-grade, non-residential door locks at all points of ingress and egress. 

Any outdoor or Greenhouse Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility or Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facility must also meet all of the requirements for the lock standards.

Colorado Marijuana Video Surveillance Requirements

cannabis compliant security camera

The Colorado Marijuana Code outlines the minimum video surveillance requirements for licensed marijuana businesses.

The following video surveillance requirements apply to all Regulated Marijuana Businesses, unless otherwise indicated.

Prior to operating a Regulated Marijuana Business, a fully operational video surveillance and camera recording system must be installed.

The recording system must record in digital format and meet the following requirements:

  1. All video surveillance records and recordings must be stored in a secure area that is only accessible to a Licensee’s management staff.
  2. Video surveillance records and recordings must be made available upon request to the Division, relevant Local Licensing Authority or Local Jurisdiction, or any other state or local law enforcement agency for purposes authorized by the Marijuana Code or for any other state or local law enforcement purpose.
  3. Video surveillance records and recordings of point-of-sale areas must be held in confidence by all employees.

Video Surveillance Equipment

Video surveillance equipment must include, at a minimum, digital or network video recorders, cameras capable of meeting the recording requirements, video monitors, digital archiving devices, and a color printer capable of delivering still photos.

All video surveillance systems must be equipped with a failure notification system that provides prompt notification to the Licensee of any prolonged surveillance interruption and/or the complete failure of the surveillance system.

Licensees are responsible for ensuring that all surveillance equipment is properly functioning and maintained, so that the playback quality is suitable for viewing and the surveillance equipment is capturing the identity of all individuals and activities in the monitored areas.

All video surveillance equipment must have sufficient battery backup to support a minimum of four hours of recording in the event of a power outage.

A licensee must notify the Division of any loss of video surveillance capabilities that extend beyond four hours.

Placement of Security Cameras and Required Camera Coverage

security camera pointed at building entrance

Security camera coverage is required for all areas identified as Restricted or Limited Access Areas, point-of-sale areas, security rooms, all points of ingress and egress to the Limited Access Areas, all areas where Regulated Marijuana is displayed for sale, and all points of ingress and egress to the exterior of the Licensed Premises.

Security camera placement must be capable of identifying activity occurring within 20 feet of all points of ingress and egress and must allow for the clear and certain identification of any individual and activities on the Licensed Premises.

At each point-of-sale location, camera coverage must enable recording of the patients, caregivers or consumer(s), and employee(s) facial features with sufficient clarity to determine identity.

All entrances and exits to the facility must be recorded from both indoor and outdoor vantage points.

The system must be capable of recording all surveillance areas in any lighting conditions.

If the Licensed Premises has a Regulated Marijuana cultivation area, a rotating schedule of lighted conditions and zero-illumination can occur as long as ingress and egress points to the flowering areas remain constantly illuminated for recording purposes.

Areas where Regulated Marijuana is grown, tested, cured, manufactured, researched, or stored must have camera placement in the room facing the primary entry door at a height which will provide a clear unobstructed view of activity without sight blockage from lighting hoods, fixtures, or other equipment. 

Security cameras must also be placed at each location where weighing, packaging, transport preparation, processing, or tagging activities occur. 

Outdoor cultivation areas must meet the same video surveillance requirements applicable to any other indoor Limited Access Areas.

Location and Maintenance of Surveillance Equipment

Surveillance recording equipment must be housed in a designated, locked, and secured room or other enclosure with access limited to authorized employees, agents of the Division, and approved local authorities, jurisdiction, or law enforcement agencies for approved purposes authorized by the Colorado Marijuana Code.

At least one camera must be dedicated to record the access points to the secured surveillance recording area.

Licensees must keep a current list of all authorized employees and service personnel who have access to the surveillance system and/or room on the Licensed Premises. 

Licensees must maintain a surveillance equipment maintenance activity log on the premises to record all service activities including the identity of the individual(s) performing the service, the service date and time, and the reason for service to the surveillance system.

Off-site Monitoring and video recording storage by the Licensee or an independent third-party is authorized as long as standards exercised at the remote location meet or exceed all standards for on-site monitoring.

Video Recording and Retention Requirements

cannabis security video monitoring

All camera views of 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. 

All surveillance recordings must be kept for a minimum of 40 days and be in a format that can be easily accessed for viewing. 

Video recordings must be archived in a format that ensures authentication of the recording as legitimately-captured video and guarantees that no alteration of the recorded image has taken place.

The Licensee’s surveillance system must have the capabilities to produce a color still photograph from any camera image, live or recorded. 

The date and time must be embedded on all surveillance recordings without significantly obscuring the picture. The date and time must be synchronized with any point-of-sale system.

Our Colorado Marijuana Security Services

Although Colorado cannabis regulations can seem daunting at first, our Colorado marijuana security company is standing by to ensure your Colorado Marijuana Business remains in compliance and allows your visitors, customers, company employees, and the larger community to feel a sense of ease. Contact us today for a consultation. 

With our vast experience, we have your Colorado marijuana security needs covered!

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