The Next Hot Growth Market For Surveillance - Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is predicted to grow faster than smartphones, I kid you not. The projection for this year, 2014, is over $2 billion and with growing legalization efforts it could be tens of billions by the end of the decade.

Unfortunately for marijuana businesses, US banks won't touch their money, forcing them to deal in loads of cash, obviously a security risk. Equally important, legislation frequently calls for security / surveillance system.

One security integrator is already trying to capitalize on this, announcing discussions with marijuana companies. There's nothing especially unique that they are claiming to do.

But marijuana is growing, they need security systems and industry people are looking for growth areas.

What do you say?

I can confirm pot dispensaries are big CCTV customers. We have several in CA.

Really? Anything in particular they are interested in? Cheap as possible? HD? Analytics? PTZs?

Yes, really.

Most of these places require a good amount of capital to get up and running, and then of course they generate very nice cash flows. But the owners are worried they are one bad-luck case away from being shutdown or getting arrested.

During the day they're mosting looking for high quality video. Record everyone who comes through the door. Record all operations around the cash register. Make sure customer IDs or medical cards are checked. Watch the scales. Make sure employees aren't tossing in a little of their "own product", since it's a mostly cash business it's easy to skim. Basically record all the store area and back office stuff.

In many cities the licensed stores are cramping the cashflow of the guy that WAS the local weedman. So, they get hit at night. Theft, vandalism, etc. So after hours it's about video verification, monitoring and so forth.

Cheap as possible hasn't been a big concern, but like many clients just because they wallpaper the back office with fivers doesn't mean money is no object on the CCTV system. So they're mostly like a mid-range c-store franchise with a high dose of paranoia.

"So they're mostly like a mid-range c-store franchise with a high dose of paranoia."

Funny! Great explanation. Thanks!

It's just like any industry, there are different types of customers. Some are just cheap as possible, some are "compliance at any cost", some are "how will this perform" driven, etc.

Apparently Treasury guidelines are allowing deposits, now.

I'm betting that a lot of these places are just going to be looking for the same thing as other retail establishments, i.e., cheap.

The next manufacturing gold rush: Cameras with integrated IR grow lights.

Not only Medical Marijuana. Legalization appears to be about to "grow" exponentially in the next few years, thanks at least in part to Washington and Colorado's legalization for personal use and Obama's stance and admission of pot smoking in his youth:

(Sure looks like a doper....)

Even the staunch conservative and former Governator smoked pot in his youth:

It's long past time to reform antiquated drug possession laws and treat addiction as a disease, not as a felony. One big issue with marijuana - it is impossible to determine whether a user is under the influence currently, for example when pulled over due to a traffic infraction, or last used it a week ago. I believe that is the largest obstacle faced by LE. Someone needs to develop a simple marijuana sobriety test that can determine a user's level of impairment like they can with alcohol and many other drugs.

These legalized marijuana operations are heavily regulated by the states/provinces that they are in. Regulations require that each facility have a written security plan that must be approved before they can get licensed. In the last couple of months, I have received inquiries from individuals both here in Washington State and in Canada seeking my help in creating their plan and in specifying their security/surveillance systems.

Most of these guys seem to have waited until the last minute to think about security and had turnaround times that I was unable to meet, so I referred them along to other consultants.

A draft regulation for marijuana dispensaries the Massachusetts Department of Public Health put together has some pretty interesting requirements in it.

Under cultivation requirements:

All phases of the cultivation of marijuana shall take place in designated, locked, limited access areas that are monitored by a surveillance camera system (page 20).

The outside perimeter of the facility sufficiently lit to facilitate surveillance (page 32).

"A failure notification system that provides an audible, text, or visual notification of any failure in the surveillance system. The failure notification system shall provide an alert to the MMTC within five minutes after the failure, either by telephone, email, or text message (page 33)."

"Video cameras in all areas that may contain marijuana, at all points of entry and exit, and in any parking lot, which shall be appropriate for the normal lighting conditions of the area under surveillance. The cameras shall be directed at all safes, vaults, sales areas, and areas where marijuana or MIPs are harvested, processed, prepared, stored, handled, or dispensed. Cameras shall be angled so as to allow for the capture of clear and certain identification of any person entering or exiting the MMTC or area (page 33)."

"The ability to immediately produce a clear, color, still photo that is a minimum of 9600 dpi from any camera image (live or recorded) (page 34)."

I'm working on finding out the status of this draft regulation now.

These fellas seem to have it all figured out. They will even give you free of charge a detailed quote with floorplan (not for your floor tho) and part number detail included, (normally $145.00) and don't even mind if you give it somebody else to install! They sure are swell.

Jim, thanks for sharing that.

In all seriousness, while the products are nothing special, I think this is, at least, good market, and potentially a value added service.

The way I read their site, is that the surveillance products are a commodity but their domain 'expertise' can simplify and ensure that the system is accepted by the government, which is quite valuable. That's the differentiation of their included 'free' plans. Now, looking at that relevant part of the law, it does not seem very complicated to meet but I am sure some buyers will value having someone else help / provide vetted documents etc.

Did you download them free plans? Maybe if they would let you upload your 'blues' you could get back a full customized quote. Another thing, maybe I'm more parinoid than others be, but it seems a little crazy to put them plans up there for anyone to see if you catch my meaning...

Maybe y'all should feed their Free Surveillance Quote thru your Free Surveillance Quote Review and pick up some more data points or what have ya.

Jim, that Arizona company's offer may not appeal to you but it may very well be useful for a small business owner who wants to get all his paperwork done and is looking to reduce risk and time to do it himself. And, since in Arizona, there are very specific legal requirements about security plans, criminals will have a sense of what they are using anyway.

I am having hard time to read the vendor name, is it Milestoner?

No, it's IndicaVision.

with the matching HIkvision cameras.

Here is Colorado they have spelled out acceptable dvr manufacturers, required camera locations, minimum resolution, etc. Unfortunately, they are understaffed and quite lax on the enforcement side of things.. personally... On second thought let's not go there...

B, thanks for the feedback. So they actually listed specific manufacturers that one could buy? So you have to buy off that list? Who's on the list?

I am looking to discuss with an integrator from Colorado about this vertical as it will be hitting IL this year. John H. have you talked with anyone that does these projects either the cultivation/grow warehouses or the dispensories?

Must be capable of storing 420 hours of continious footage. Red eye reduction.

As well as H.264 THC, GrowLightCompensation, and SlowStutter...

Here's a 'high times' special from an integrator:

This is from a San Francisco integrator. I think a $420 value would have been more effective marketing here...

There are not many highs that compare to getting a great deal!

There are not many highs that compare to getting a great deal!

Pun score: F-

The poster's name alone guarantees at least an F+ in any cannibis connected comedy.

you da real MVP !

Point to M. Budalich, since (for those who may have missed it)

MVP! backwards is !PVM

Related: Denver integrator talks about deploying surveillance systems in about 100 dispensaries and cultivation centers.

Back on track.

i have reviewed a few. My experience has been just like a fire alarm. What is required? Nothing more and nothing less.

The biggest question is "what the hell did they mean by that statement"? The specs are guidelines from government agencies and the people seeking approval don't want to ask.

We have extensive experience in this market, but mostly in Washington State. Its a crazy day here today, so Ill post more info later. Leave it at I've been in the security industry for over 15 years before I had anything published. Got into the MJ market and was published within 3 months, LOL. ITs a goldrush, but its a shifting goldrush that will just as quickly disappear as it appeared.


What size facility is that Amando?

That's a tier 3 outdoor grow near spokane. part of a complex with about 10 identical operations.

What we do is equipment, design and support only for this market, no installation because we are physically located in Indiana. I've been half-assed looking for someone to take it over so I can focus on the integration side of the business. Doesn't really cost anything to run it tho, so I haven't pursued it much.

Got into the MJ market... I've been half-assed looking for someone to take it over so I can focus on the integration side of the business.

Wait, are you saying you are a grower now???

no, no, no, no. I mean I became a part of that industry in that I became an expert at the washington laws and regs and am seen as an insider by the people we work for. I dont physically work with plants. Tho, I did see lots of them the last time I went out there to visit our biggest MJ client. And no, I dont smoke it despite being a hardcore Libertarian. Just makes me sleepy.

Is camera 11 an Arecont by any chance? ;)

no, camera 11 is likely a high DIY installer....

I've done video systems for several dispensaries and a few warehouses. The systems have ranged from small and inexpensive DVRs to higher end HD systems, covert cameras, and redundant cloud storage. One used access control and had a "man-trap" type setup at the main entrance. The higher end customers that I dealt with typically have already had issues with their inadequate lower end video systems. They now wanted covert cameras with cloud redundancy as they had both cameras and DVRs on site stolen and/or damaged. Some were damaged by law enforcement during raids. There have been a few stories in the news about law enforcement doing raids and pocketing money and inventory. Some in law enforcement have even been arrested for it. One of the more high profile stories was in Santa Ana last year.

Not all of the stories make the news. One of my customers had a supposedly "legitimate" growing warehouse in downtown LA that was "mistakenly" raided by the DEA on a Sunday morning at 10am. The DEA took some of the newer HD analog cameras we installed and destroyed some Lorex cameras that were left behind by the previous tenant, and powered down the DVR, but did not take or destroy the DVR, so my customer had some video evidence. I had to help them retrieve the video as they were quite upset. The video showed about 20 agents, most dressed casually in shorts and DEA t-shirts, and all appeared to be armed, some had handguns, some had rifles. They broke in and brought in a truck and virtually cleaned the place out right before harvest time. It was about a 7500 sq ft warehouse. There wasn't anyone on site at the time. This was in the summer of 2015. Last I heard they supposedly were settling out of court for over $1M and went right back to growing again.

We also always had the customer sign a policy statement that our employees would not be exposed to any marijuana smoke during installation or service calls, and that they were not allowed to accept any tips!

That's crazy. That sort of thing is pretty much over after the voting results from yesterday. Let's face it: it's going to be legal nationwide in the next 8 years. California and others passed more measures. Colorado is making incredible profits off the taxes. It's a no brainer.

It will be interesting to see how this thread moves over the next few years. It will be a good indicator of the overall expansion of the medical (and recreational) MJ market

Armando have you done any facilities in IL?

not any MJ facilities. Our expertise is limited to Washington and Oregon.