Security Dealer & Integrator

JUL 2018

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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42 Security Dealer & Integrator / July 2018 Tom Silcott, president of Maryland-based S3 Integration, advises integrators to be careful which cannabis businesses to partner with. "It becomes a shock to them how much a security system costs," he says. "ere is a heavy security requirement, and a lot of security goes into (the facilities)." Silcott adds that there are also various state requirements integrators must make sure they meet when working in the cannabis industry. Pennsylvania, for example, requires video surveillance footage from marijuana facilities to be stored for a minimum of four years – thus, it is imperative for integrators to familiarize themselves with the regula- tions on a jurisdictional basis. Some states, such as Mary- land, also require security contractors to obtain a special license to work in cannabis processing sites. "When it comes to dispensaries, cultivation and grow facilities, each one of has their own set of regulations," says Mark Corbett, Senior Account Executive at S3. "We have done deployments in different jurisdictions, and every one has different regulations to meet." Like any other industry, cannabis growers are looking to get the most bang for their buck when it comes to their overall security investment. is means that security inte- grators working with these end-users will need to provide a certain level of education to help them understand that security and managing such a large amount of risk is about more than just being compliant. "Many more mature industries have come to understand the way in which security products help them run and manage their business," Gordon explains. "With the infancy of this industry and the people who are getting involved in it not having enough awareness and experience in the busi- ness world yet, we do not always see that." "When you are dealing with clients who are cash-limited in a sense, you have to make sure they are not cutting cor- ners and taking just what they need to pass (inspection)," Corbett adds. "We have been fortunate that every (facility we have secured) so far has passed the first time." Not coming from a security background, Kleperis says many end-users getting involved in this space are not aware of what it really takes to have a hardened facility because they are simply trying to grow a plant. "Here's an idea of what kind of facility we are talking about," Kleperis says. "If you have ever been to downtown Oakland, it is a bit of war zone...and in that little war zone is a very large (cannabis) facility. at immediately becomes a security (risk). If the facility is housing $20 million to $40 million in cannabis – that is the easiest commodity in the world to move right now. It is more liquid than gold." Opportunities Abound While it is hard to put an exact dollar figure on how much the cannabis industry will spend on security equipment and services in the years to come, Gordon believes it is the sin- gle biggest emerging vertical for integrators. He adds that as larger players begin to consolidate their market share and standardize their systems, there will be even more opportu- nities for security service providers. Given the fact that many grow facilities lack the space for on-premises solutions, there is also RMR to be had from cannabis cultivators as they look to cloud-hosted and managed services to ease their security burden. ere are also traditional RMR opportunities in the form of ongoing monitoring and maintenance contracts. "From an RMR standpoint, most facilities are required to have intrusion monitoring through a third party and most also want to carry a maintenance contract to ensure their systems are in compliance at all times," Silcott says. With marijuana growing facilities that can be as large as several million square feet in size, Kleperis says an increas- ing number of integrators are now taking a serious look at the cannabis business and are noticing that there is a lot money to be made – especially when it comes to video surveillance and access control systems, which are typically mandated by the states. He does caution that integrators need to make sure they are working with growers they have fully vetted, and that the integrators themselves are on a solid footing from both an insurance and legal perspective. Despite some of the popular stereotypes of pot users and growers that exist within our culture, Gordon says that modern day cannabis businesses are not run by shady gangsters or hippie stoners – but rather by legitimate busi- ness professionals. "It is a serious industry," he says. "Unfor- tunately, society is still trying to combat what they think a pothead is." ■ » Joel Griffin is Editor in Chief of – the online home of SD&I – and a veteran security journalist. Email him at When it comes to dispensaries, cultivation and grow facilities, each has their own set of regulations have to make sure they are not cutting corners and taking just what they need to pass (inspection)." — Mark Corbett, S3 Integration of Baltimore Cover Story

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