Medical Cannabis Dispensary Building Security Considerations

May 8th, 2018
medical cannabis dispensary security

– by Herb Brychta, PSP – Manager, Security Risk Management

In the rapidly expanding medical cannabis industry, security is important for many reasons -compliance, patient safety and sustainability of your business.  Product and cash are both lucrative targets for would be criminals.  On top of that, there is opposition to this business and detractors are looking for any opportunity to say “I told you so.”

From the physical building to operations, there are many opportunities to integrate security into your dispensary in a way that is natural and maintains the focus on patient’s health and wellness.  Below are some questions to consider as you develop the security approach for your medical cannabis dispensary.

Physical Building

  • How will your staff access your building? A general process for workflow flow should be evaluated and designed into the building from material acquisition, storage to sales. This puts in place safeguards and policies to protect your business, staff and visitors.
  • How will patients and caregivers access and navigate your building? Patient flow is critical both from a business perspective and a security perspective. Integrating security and measures to protect privacy need to be discrete so the focus remains on health and wellness.
  • How will you securely store product and cash? Secure storage is critical to protecting your product. Analyzing the strength and details of materials used in the construction of your vault / secure storage is important to develop a solution that can withstand forced entry.

Electronic Security Systems

  • How do security systems impact the design of your physical space? In many cases, specifications about camera, security and alarm systems are prescribed by local / state agencies. Beyond these requirements, how and where systems are installed impact the design of your facility. Looking at these details in depth helps you not only achieve compliance with regulations, but also helps deliver a better space and experience for patients.
  • You have the systems in place, now what? Defining how these systems are used and monitored impact your operations. Documented procedures and training help make sure that you are maximizing the value and capability of these systems.

From the built space to the details of workflow and procedures for facility and product storage, systems, operations and the physical space can work together to enhance your security while keeping the focus on health and wellness.

Read more about medical cannabis dispensary design in Dispense Magazine.

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Are you in the process of planning a new dispensary or grow facility? Need a security review of a current project? Whether designing a grow facility or dispensary, renovating an existing structure or constructing a new building, AE Works can support all phases of your project from pre-application to opening day. Contact us at or 412.585.2273 to see how we can help you with your medical cannabis project.