PENNSYLVANIA CANNABIS BUSINESS SECURITY
KNOWLEDGE CENTER

Created to provide helpful information about the Pennsylvania cannabis industry

PENNSYLVANIA CANNABIS LICENSE INFO

Please note; while we aim to keep these pages fully up to date with the latest information, cannabis laws are always changing. We encourage you to verify these rules and regulations in the official legal text, which we’ve linked throughout the page for your convenience.

For compliance requirements related to cannabis seed to sale tracking and reporting for growers, manufacturers, and dispensaries in Pennsylvania, click here!

Click here for program webpage

Pennsylvania Cannabis Business Security Requirements

*Please note that this section encompasses only the compliance requirements relevant to business security. Many parts of the rules and regulation shave been removed to focus exclusively on the security compliance aspects. To view the full set of rules and regulations for Pennsylvania, click here!

Pennsylvania Business Security Requirements for Cannabis Licensees

You can view the program webpage here.

§ 1161.31. Security and surveillance.

  • (a)  A dispensary shall have security and surveillance systems, utilizing commercial-grade equipment, to prevent unauthorized entry and to prevent and detect an adverse loss. The security and surveillance systems must include all of the following:
    • (1)  A professionally-monitored security alarm system that includes the following:
      • (i)   Coverage of all facility entrances and exits; rooms with exterior windows, exterior walls, roof hatches or skylights; storage rooms, including those that contain medical marijuana and safes; and the perimeter of the facility.
      • (ii)   A silent security alarm system signal, known as a duress alarm, generated by the entry of a designated code into an arming station in order to signal that the alarm user is being forced to turn off the system.
      • (iii)   An audible security alarm system signal, known as a panic alarm, generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life-threatening or emergency situation requiring law enforcement response.
      • (iv)   A silent alarm signal, known as a holdup alarm, generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a robbery in progress.
      • (v)   Electrical, electronic, mechanical or other devices capable of being programmed to send a prerecorded voice message requesting dispatch, when activated, over a telephone line, radio or other communication systems to a law enforcement, public safety or emergency services agency.
      • (vi)   A failure notification system that provides an audible, text or visual notification of any failure in the systems. The failure notification system must provide by telephone, e-mail or text message an alert to a designated security person within the facility within 5 minutes after the failure.
      • (vii)   Smoke and fire alarms.
      • (viii)   Auxiliary power sufficient to maintain security and surveillance systems for at least 48 hours following a power outage.
      • (ix)   The ability to ensure all access doors are not solely controlled by an electronic access panel to prevent locks from becoming released during a power outage.
      • (x)   Motion detectors.
    • (2)  A professionally-monitored security and surveillance system that is operational 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and records all activity in images capable of clearly revealing facial detail. The security and surveillance system must include all of the following:
      • (i)   Fixed camera placement that allows for a clear image of all individuals and activities in and around the following:
        • (A)   Any area of a facility where medical marijuana products are loaded or unloaded into or from transport vehicles.
        • (B)   Entrances to and exits from a facility. Entrances and exits must be recorded from both indoor and outdoor vantage points.
        • (C)   Rooms with exterior windows, exterior walls, roof hatches or skylights and storage rooms, including those that may contain medical marijuana products and safes.
        • (D)   Five feet from the exterior of the perimeter of a facility.
        • (E)   All limited access areas.
      • (ii)   Auxiliary power sufficient to maintain security and surveillance systems for at least 48 hours following a power outage.
      • (iii)   The ability to operate under the normal lighting conditions of each area under surveillance.
      • (iv)   The ability to immediately produce a clear, color, still photographs in a digital format that meets the requirements of this subsection.
    • (3)  The ability to clearly and accurately display the date and time. The date and time must be synchronized and set correctly and may not significantly obscure the picture.
    • (4)  The ability to record and store all images captured by each surveillance camera for a minimum of 2 years in a format that may be easily accessed for investigative purposes. The recordings must be kept:
      • (i)   At the facility:
        • (A)   In a locked cabinet, closet or other secure places to protect it from tampering or theft.
        • (B)   In a limited access area or other room to which access is limited to authorized individuals.
      • (ii)   At a secure location other than the location of the facility if approved by the Department.
    • (5)  A security alarm system separate from the facility’s primary security system covering the limited access area or other room where the recordings under paragraph (4) are stored. The separate security alarm system must meet the same requirements as the facility’s primary security alarm system.
  • (b)  The following apply regarding the inspection, servicing or alteration of, and the upgrade to, the dispensary facility’s security and surveillance systems:
    • (1)  The systems shall be inspected and all devices tested once every year by a qualified alarm system vendor and a qualified surveillance system vendor, as approved by the Department.
    • (2)  The dispensary shall conduct maintenance inspections once every month to ensure that any repairs, alterations or upgrades to the security and surveillance systems are made for the proper operation of the systems.
    • (3)  The dispensary shall retain at the facility, for at least 4 years, records of all inspections, servicing, alterations and upgrades performed on the systems and shall make the records available to the Department and its authorized agents within 2 business days following a request.
    • (4)  In the event of a mechanical malfunction of the security or surveillance system that the dispensary anticipates will exceed a 4-hour period, the dispensary shall notify the Department immediately and, with Department approval, provide alternative security measures that may include the closure of the facility.
    • (5)  The dispensary shall designate an employee to continuously monitor the security and surveillance systems at the facility.
    • (6)  The following requirements apply regarding records retention:
      • (i)   Within 2 business days following a request, a dispensary shall provide up to four screen captures of an unaltered copy of a video surveillance recording to the Department or its authorized agents, law enforcement, or other Federal, State or local government officials if necessary to perform the government officials’ functions and duties.
      • (ii)   If a dispensary has been notified in writing by the Department or its authorized agents, law enforcement, or other Federal, State or local government officials of a pending criminal or administrative investigation for which a recording may contain relevant information, the dispensary shall retain an unaltered copy of the recording for 4 years or until the investigation or proceeding is closed or the entity conducting the investigation or proceeding notifies the dispensary that it is not necessary to retain the recording, whichever is longer.
  • (c)  A dispensary shall install commercial-grade, nonresidential steel doors and door locks on each room where medical marijuana products are stored and on each external door of the facility. Keys or key codes for all doors shall remain in the possession of designated authorized individuals.
  • (d)  During all non-working hours, all entrances to and exits from the facility must be securely locked.
  • (e)  A dispensary shall have an electronic back-up system for all electronic records.
  • (f)  A dispensary shall install lighting to ensure proper surveillance inside and outside of the facility.
  • (g)  A dispensary shall limit access to a room in a facility containing security and surveillance monitoring equipment to persons who are essential to maintaining security and surveillance operations; Federal, State and local law enforcement; security and surveillance system service employees; the Department or its authorized agents; and other persons with the prior written approval of the Department. The following requirements apply:
      • (1)  A dispensary shall make available to the Department or the Department’s authorized agents, upon request, a current list of authorized employees and service employees or contractors who have access to any security and surveillance areas.
      • (2)  A dispensary facility shall keep security and surveillance rooms locked at all times and may not use these rooms for any other purpose or function.

Growers/Processors

§ 1151.26. Security and surveillance.

  • (a)  A grower/processor shall have security and surveillance systems, utilizing commercial-grade equipment, to prevent unauthorized entry and to prevent and detect an adverse loss. The security and surveillance systems must include all of the following:
    • (1)  A professionally-monitored security alarm system that includes the following:
      • (i)   Coverage of all facility entrances and exits; rooms with exterior windows, exterior walls, roof hatches or skylights; storage rooms, including those that contain seeds, immature medical marijuana plants, medical marijuana plants, medical marijuana or medical marijuana products and safes; and the perimeter of the facility.
      • (ii)   A silent security alarm system signal, known as a duress alarm, generated by the entry of a designated code into an arming station to signal that the alarm user is being forced to turn off the system.
      • (iii)   An audible security alarm system signal, known as a panic alarm, generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life-threatening or emergency situation requiring law enforcement response.
      • (iv)   A silent alarm signal, known as a holdup alarm, generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a robbery in progress.
      • (v)   Electrical, electronic, mechanical or other devices capable of being programmed to send a prerecorded voice message requesting dispatch, when activated, over a telephone line, radio or other communication systems to a law enforcement, public safety or emergency services agency.
      • (vi)   A failure notification system that provides an audible, text or visual notification of any failure in the systems. The failure notification system must provide by telephone, e-mail or text message an alert to a designated security person within the facility within 5 minutes after the failure.
      • (vii)   Smoke and fire alarms.
      • (viii)   Auxiliary power sufficient to maintain operation of specified growing and processing areas identified in the grower/processor’s plan of operation for at least 48 hours following a power outage.
      • (ix)   The ability to ensure all access doors are not solely controlled by an electronic access panel to prevent locks from becoming released during a power outage.
      • (x)   Motion detectors.
    • (2)  A professionally-monitored security and surveillance system that is operational 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and records all activity in images capable of clearly revealing facial detail. The security and surveillance system must include all of the following:
      • (i)   Fixed camera placement that allows for a clear image of all individuals and activities in and around the following:
        • (A)   All limited access areas.
        • (B)   A room or area containing a security and surveillance system storage device or equipment.
        • (C)   Entrances to and exits from a facility. Entrances and exits must be recorded from both indoor and outdoor vantage points.
        • (D)   Rooms with exterior windows, exterior walls, roof hatches, or skylights and storage rooms, including those that may contain seeds, immature medical marijuana plants, medical marijuana plants, medical marijuana or medical marijuana products, and safes.
        • (E)   Twenty feet from the exterior of the perimeter of the facility.
      • (ii)   Auxiliary power sufficient to maintain operation for at least 48 hours following a power outage.
      • (iii)   The ability to operate under the normal lighting conditions of each area under surveillance.
      • (iv)   The ability to immediately produce a clear, color, still photograph in a digital format that meets the requirements of this subsection.
    • (3)  The ability to clearly and accurately display the date and time. The date and time must be synchronized and set correctly and may not significantly obscure the picture.
    • (4)  The ability to record and store all images captured by each surveillance camera for a minimum of 2 years in a format that may be easily accessed for investigative purposes. The recordings must be kept:
      • (i)   At the facility:
        • (A)   In a locked cabinet, closet or other secure places to protect it from tampering or theft.
        • (B)   In a limited access area or other room to which access is limited to authorized individuals.
      • (ii)   At a secure location other than the location of the facility if approved in writing by the Department.
    • (5)  A security alarm system separate from the facility’s primary security system covering the limited access area or other room where the recordings under paragraph (4) are stored. The separate security alarm system must meet the same requirements as the facility’s primary security alarm system.
  • (b)  The following requirements regarding the inspection, servicing or alteration of, and the upgrade to, the site’s and facility’s security and surveillance systems apply:
    • (1)  The systems shall be inspected and all devices tested once every year by a qualified alarm system vendor and a qualified surveillance system vendor, as approved by the Department.
    • (2)  The grower/processor shall conduct maintenance inspections once every month to ensure that any repairs, alterations or upgrades to the security and surveillance systems are made for the proper operation of the systems.
    • (3)  The grower/processor shall retain at the facility, for at least 4 years, records of all inspections, servicing, alterations and upgrades performed on the systems and shall make the records available to the Department and its authorized agents within 2 business days following the Department’s request or the request of the Department’s authorized agents.
    • (4)  In the event of a mechanical malfunction of the security or surveillance system that a grower/processor anticipates will exceed an 8-hour period, the grower/processor shall notify the Department immediately and, with Department approval, provide alternative security measures that may include the closure of the facility.
    • (5)  The grower/processor shall designate an employee to continuously monitor the security and surveillance systems at the facility.
    • (6)  The following apply regarding records retention:
      • (i)   Within 2 business days following a request, a grower/processor shall provide up to four screen captures of an unaltered copy of a video surveillance recording to the Department or its authorized agents, law enforcement or other Federal, State or local government officials if necessary to perform the governmental officials’ functions and duties.
      • (ii)   If a grower/processor has been notified in writing by the Department or its authorized agents, law enforcement or other Federal, State or local government officials of a pending criminal or administrative investigation for which a recording may contain relevant information, the grower/processor shall retain an unaltered copy of the recording for 4 years or until the investigation or proceeding is closed or the entity conducting the investigation or proceeding notifies the grower/processor that it is not necessary to retain the recording, whichever is longer.
  • (c)  The grower/processor shall install commercial-grade, nonresidential steel doors and door locks on each room where seeds, immature medical marijuana plants, medical marijuana plants, medical marijuana and medical marijuana products are stored, and on each external door of the facility. Keys or key codes for all doors shall remain in the possession of designated authorized individuals.
  • (d)  During all non-working hours, all entrances to and exits from a site and a facility must be securely locked.
  • (e)  The grower/processor shall have an electronic back-up system for all electronic records.
  • (f)  The grower/processor shall install lighting to ensure proper surveillance inside and outside of a facility.
  • (g)  A grower/processor shall limit access to a room in a facility containing security and surveillance monitoring equipment to persons who are essential to maintaining security and surveillance operations; Federal, State and local law enforcement; security and surveillance system service employees; the Department or its authorized agents; and other persons with the prior written approval of the Department. The following requirements apply:
    • (1)  A grower/processor shall make available to the Department or the Department’s authorized agents, upon request, a current list of authorized employees and service employees or contractors who have access to any security and surveillance areas.
    • (2)  A grower/processor facility shall keep security and surveillance rooms locked at all times and may not use these rooms for any other purpose or function.

Labs

§ 1141.29. Initial permit application.

  • (12)  A summary of the intended plan of operation that describes, at a minimum, how the applicant’s proposed business operations will comply with the act and this part relating to:
      • (i)   Security.
      • (iii)   The grower/processor permit applicant is able to continuously maintain effective security, surveillance and accounting control measures to prevent diversion, abuse and other illegal conduct regarding seeds, immature medical marijuana plants, medical marijuana plants, medical marijuana, and medical marijuana products. The dispensary permit applicant is able to continuously maintain effective security, surveillance and accounting control measures to prevent diversion, abuse and other illegal conduct regarding medical marijuana products.

Pennsylvania is still in the process of finalizing all rules and regulations pertaining to medical marijuana. If you have any questions pertaining to the application process for Pennsylvania or security requirements feel free to reach out to us by clicking here.

 

Why Choose Helix Cannabis Security?

Focused on Safety, Security, and Compliance

 

Our top priority is making sure your staff, your business, and your investment, are safe and secure. We provide cost-effective solutions to satisfy every    compliance requirement in your state as well as end-to-end expert security consultation, and of course, development and implementation of services.

Helix Dispensary Security Services

Compliance

Maintain full compliance with your state and local cannabis business security requirements through Helix’s full-service security firm. Our team of cannabis security experts have implemented compliance-centric security frameworks in dozens of legal cannabis markets for grow warehouses, manufacturing facilities, laboratories and dispensaries.

digital-security

360 Security Systems

From cameras and remote monitoring services to alarm systems and rapid response, Helix Digital Security Systems can address all of your security needs and beyond. Cover every square inch of your facility with comprehensive security camera systems, ensuring 24/7 visibility, DVR capabilities, and more.

physical-security

Security Training

Your staff isn’t expected to stop criminals in action, but ensuring your staff is trained on security best practices can provide essential steps in de-escalation, situational control, and threat identification to allow team members to resolve a situation before it arises.

Want to learn more about Helix Security’s comprehensive services and expertise?

Remote, Eyes-On Monitoring

monitoring

The most-cost effective approach to 24/7 active monitoring of your legal cannabis business.

Remote monitoring provides live, eyes-on guards monitoring your business security camera systems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our guards will activate timely response times and ensure your business is secure, especially when you can’t be there.

At Helix Cannabis Security, we consider it a cannabis security best practice to have guards on-site at your facility at all times that people are present. If people are not present on the premise, there’s no need to risk the safety of a security guard. Remote monitoring provides the same, high-level attention and security, without risking a guards life, or incurring unnecessary costs.

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