Cloud Storage Helps Cannabis Industry Meet Stringent Surveillance Requirements

Mon Nov 14 2022By Daniel Collins

The cannabis industry is growing rapidly. The ongoing decriminalization and legalization of cannabis state by state in the United States drove recreational cannabis sales to $30 billion in 2021. As cannabis gains prominence for medicinal and recreational use, more businesses are joining in the development and expansion of the cannabis industry. In a study by MJBiz, U.S. cannabis market sales are projected to grow to upwards of $52.6 billion by 2026. Along with industry growth comes opportunities for theft and abuse; therefore, stringent industry regulations continue to be implemented by local governments. Among many regulations, states require all cannabis operations and dispensaries to maintain effective video surveillance systems to protect cannabis operations.

Video security requirements for dispensaries

Although specifics vary from state to state, the general outline for maintaining an effective video surveillance system includes proper placement of cameras, high-quality video resolution, and video retention over a pre-determined timeframe. Many states require cameras to be placed at all entrances and exits and must record from indoor and outdoor viewpoints and any area containing cannabis. Camera locations must be able to identify facial features, clothing, and license plates.

Cannabis video surveillance systems have state-regulated retention periods for video files, ranging from 30 to 120 days, depending on the state’s requirements. Most regulated retention periods include continuous (24/7) video recording from all cameras onsite, with the ability to track persons and products throughout the facility. Camera deployments can range from twenty cameras at a small retail location to hundreds of cameras at a large grow operation. All systems must be able to display surveillance video “on-demand” to law enforcement or for inspections.

A study conducted by IVPM titled 2022 Camera Resolution Statistics concluded that over 70% of cameras used by their integrator base now have resolutions at 3MP or higher. Even though advanced camera technology delivers a powerful solution to meet rising government standards, there’s often a critical and overlooked challenge. With surveillance cameras recording continuously at high resolution and frame rates, a monumental amount of video is generated, all of which needs to be retained for a designated amount of time before being deleted. The highly regulated video surveillance requirements within the cannabis industry lead to an expensive storage nightmare for businesses.

Using hybrid cloud to store big data in the cannabis industry

To meet video surveillance storage requirements, cannabis organizations benefit from storage flexibility for camera deployment and video retention. Traditional on-premises servers aren’t always capable of meeting the demands of increased file sizes or retention periods. To combat rising storage needs while meeting strict compliance regulations, cannabis organizations of all sizes are implementing cloud storage solutions.

Cloud storage provides storage scalability for cannabis businesses. The cloud storage consumption model allows organizations to quickly add storage as needed, only paying for what is used. Organizations can increase or decrease video surveillance operations depending on their unique needs and regulations, all without worrying about the solution’s effect on storage.

Organizations transitioning to the cloud that don't want an interruption in operations often turn to a hybrid cloud solution. Keeping a small recording server on-premises allows video to sit for some time before automatically moving to the cloud for the remainder of its retention period. With a hybrid cloud implementation, companies don’t need to purchase additional storage racks or hardware. There doesn’t need to be a change to operations or pauses in recording; video goes through the solution’s Video Management Software and extends to the cloud in minutes. Along with keeping a secure copy of your video for remote access, cannabis organizations can optimize surveillance storage costs with hybrid cloud storage. Wasabi’s Video Surveillance Specialist, Jaslyn Scribner, has seen firsthand the interest in a hybrid-cloud model for cannabis surveillance video. “Cannabis operations are challenged with varying retention policies and unexpected audits,” says Scribner. “To remain compliant, a majority of organizations agree that they need a flexible, scalable data storage solution that provides instant access to their video.”

Wasabi’s predictable pricing enables marijuana security solutions

True video surveillance scalability requires a storage solution that enables seamless data egress. Wasabi hot cloud storage only charges based on storage capacity, meaning there are no charges for egress or API requests. Data stored in Wasabi can be accessed instantly when called upon without incurring additional fees. By storing video surveillance footage in Wasabi, storage costs stay predictable and affordable. The cost-effectiveness and pricing predictability of surveillance-compatible and secure Wasabi cloud storage enables savings to invest in additional required technology, such as cameras, analytics, and access control.

While the legalization of recreational cannabis continues to expand state by state, so will the need for end-to-end security solutions to meet strict compliance. Wasabi Technologies will be at MJBizcon in Las Vegas, Nov 16th – 18th 2022. Schedule an on-site meeting with Jaslyn Scribner to discuss your surveillance storage needs.

Learn more about Wasabi’s cloud storage solution for video surveillance.

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