Cameras with infrared technology, dome lenses that can provide 360-degree views of a room and hard drives that can store weeks of footage were pitched recently to prospective entrepreneurs in Arkansas’ medical marijuana industry.
The extent of surveillance technology is limited only by what someone is willing to pay, two salesmen said at a meeting of the Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association last week.
“Are they bulletproof, no. Can they be bulletproof, yes,” said one salesman about the options for security cameras.
People looking to enter the state’s medical marijuana industry, one of the first in the South, say security is a top concern that they raise with state regulators, who have imposed exacting standards to protect the future cultivation centers and dispensaries.
Among the requirements — which a group of lawmakers tentatively approved last month — is that facilities’ exterior doors be equipped with fingerprint-reading locks.
Facilities also must have surveillance cameras running 24/7, and an alarm system linked to police departments. The standards even dictate how tough it must be to crack into the vaults and safes where marijuana will be stored.
The cost just for the electronic security systems — safe not included — could be between $20,000 and $30,000 for the average dispensary, said Storm Nolan of Fort Smith, the co-founder of the Cannabis Industry Association.
Aside from the security system expenses, the state is requiring potential pot businesses to pay five-figure licensing fees and has set hefty cash-on-hand requirements.
Nolan, his stepfather and brother are looking to open a dispensary and cultivation center. He called the security requirements “reasonable” and commended the state for listening to and heeding public feedback.
For example, he said, the state