Medical Marijuana Security: Protecting Licensed MMPR Facilities
With the tension that comes with the pressure on Justin Trudeau to hasten the process of marijuana legalization, medical marijuana security for licensed MMPR facilities is as important as ever. As the medical cannabis industry grows, without extensive security measures to protect licensed facilities,, they may become an easy target. Even before investors start to pour money into production labs, they are first required to become a Health Canada licensed providers, and are then faced with the challenges of securing their business.
It’s a business that has security risks associated with it, and as such requires a comprehensive security plan and system in place. Risks of theft and or tampering can have serious financial repercussions.
What are the regulations?
To avoid security breaches means that MMPR Licensed facilities must bulk up on security as much as they can. It’s important to know what exactly goes into protecting the product, staff, and facilities.
The industry got its start in 2014 when Ontario introduced legislation that allowed for the licensed producers to distribute to patients with approved prescriptions. Currently, there are 31 licensed producers across Canada, and 18 of them are in Ontario.
To protect the product and everything else that comes along with it, the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) highlights in Division 3 of their regulations 11 security levels for the storage of controlled substances. With level 11 being the strictest, all licensed producers must comply with Level 7 as the minimum threshold of security.
The basic requirements for medical marijuana facilities according to Level 7 include:
- Sufficient detectors to indicate when there is an unauthorized attempt to access, penetrate, remove, or open the vault or safe.
- The vault, safe or caged area must be located at least a meter away from any outside wall if located on the ground floor or an accessible roof.
- All electrical channels for alarm systems, security equipment, lighting, and telephones must be accordance with any applicable electrical code.
- Vault or safe alarm equipment is to be monitored by an U.L.C. (Underwriters Laboratories of Canada) approved central monitoring station. When such service is unavailable, the Bureau will consider alternates.
- Control boxes for the security system are to be located inside the vault or safe.
For Ontario it’s integral for medical marijuana security that you choose the best security system in order to meet Ontario’s province requirements as well as getting the highest value out of your investment.
What are the security features you need to protect your facility?
According to Health Canada and the MMPR, in order to become a licensed provider any facility where cannabis is present must have functioning cameras 24/7. Not only do you need to ensure that the security systems present at your facilities capture video footage, but these systems must be backed up and information retained in case of a malfunction.
In the event that any of these facilities have a security system that is down, you must have a technician available in order to repair your system.
Your security system must include intrusion detection mechanisms and closed circuit video equipment must be in place to ensure that all sites where marijuana is present are constantly monitored. Furthermore, your security system must incorporate access control and must be fully capable of identifying and detecting every individual who enters or leaves restricted areas
It is your responsibility to ensure that each site is protected according to the security design standards set out in Division 3 which include:
1. Uncontrolled licensee area:
This provides a buffer zone that gives a clear indication to the public that ownership and responsibility of the behaviour in the space rests with the licensee.
As a licensed provider, you must have signs and physical barriers in place that separate your area from public space. This requirement includes clear signage outside with physical barriers in place to provide sufficient resistance to impede unauthorized access to the premises where cannabis is present.
2. Controlled licensee area:
This includes all areas of the building where the general public have restricted access. This would mostly entail dispensaries where, for example, customers have access during business hours.
3. Restricted areas:
These sites are normally only accessible to employees and should have access control systems in place to control who is going in and out of these sites. This would extend to labs and certain restricted areas, where you require not only video surveillance but also need analytics and check-ins in place to identify both people and activities in these areas.
4. Secure areas:
This consists of restricted regions where there is highly sensitive information and equipment. Access should be limited to authorized personels only. Therefore, the strictest security measures must be in place in these areas, which extends to cultivation facilities and labs. While access control and video surveillance is mandatory, the more technologically advanced your security systems are, the easier it is to monitor the secure areas.
If you’re looking for security experts who know the specifics of medical marijuana security, contact Veridin Systems Canada about the best security solutions for your facility. Learn more about the features of security systems that align with MMPR’s requirements. Get in touch with us today!