Security value adds in medical cannabis building projects

April 14th, 2018
medical cannabis dispensary security

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

All medical dispensaries must meet stringent regulations, but that doesn’t mean these spaces need to feel like highly secure government buildings. With security a part of the process early on, these features and systems can be woven seamlessly into the physical space.

From understanding the unique risk picture and secure storage considerations to designing a clinic that allows natural, efficient patient flow,  incorporating security from the onset of a building project has the potential to not only produce a safer building, but also benefit your project in many other ways.

Here’s a primer on how security can impact four aspects of your medical cannabis building project, if integrated into the planning and design process early on:

  • Produce a safer space focused on health and wellness – without sacrificing functionality or aesthetics: The incorporation of physical security into the design process supports engineers and architects in understanding vulnerabilities that design options introduce. Working closely with a security professional, a design option can be developed early on that produces a safer space that meets all compliance regulations without sacrificing functionality or aesthetics. This results in a welcoming atmosphere that enables a natural flow of patients without awareness of required behind-the-scene protocols.
  • Secure Storage: Secure storage is critical to a dispensary. 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.
  • Input to the most visible aspects of your building – the architecture:  When security is woven into a project from the beginning, there is the ability to integrate principles of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). CPTED principles are focused on manipulating the built environment to produce behavioral effects that are likely to reduce the incidence of crime and fear of crime. CPTED uses natural elements and elements of the design together to create a holistic security solution. Lighting, natural access control and surveillance can be integrated into your building project seamlessly without the visual impacts of security measures such as gates and bollards. This is especially important to a medical cannabis facility where creating a welcoming and comfortable environment is essential.
  • More economical: With diverse perspectives upfront, including that of a physical security professional, the team can work together at the onset of a building project to develop a solution together that not only meets business needs and compliance requirements, but also is more secure. Changes at early stages in the project can be accomplished much more easily than in later stages or after construction.

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