AI-enabled video surveillance systems help deter theft for dispensaries doing walk-up business during the COVID-19 crisis/
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There is a lot to consider when it comes to securing your cannabis operations. A compliant system is not always secure, and a secure system is not always compliant. And with ambiguous regulations, it is easy to have gaps in your security plan. However, video surveillance technology has come a long way and there are options available now that can help you meet the regulations in your state. For example, some IP cameras are now equipped with next-generation security analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), which provides the most accurate detection of people and vehicles.
3 Best Practices for AI Camera Deployment
When it comes to choosing AI-powered IP cameras, you will want to consider how the analytics can be applied in your dispensary or cultivation facility to improve security and help you stay focused on your business:
Object Removal Analytic: With a camera that has intelligent object removal, an alarm can trigger if something is removed from a defined zone. For example, if you have high-value assets in your cultivation facility, you can define a zone around them, and an alarm will sound if they are removed. Or, in your dispensary, you can keep track of expensive items like condensed cannabis oil or other products and be alerted when they are moved or tampered with.
Loitering Detection Analytic: You will always want an alert if someone is hanging around in areas of your dispensary or cultivation rooms that you have defined as private or off-limits. With this analytic, you can define specific zones and you will be alerted when someone is found to be in the defined area for too long. It is also useful for after-hours when people may be hanging around outside your facilities. With AI analytics, you will not be subjected to false alarms in the middle of the night when an animal passes by your camera’s field of view. The analytics in the cameras are so specific that they will only capture people and vehicles.
Stopped Vehicle Analytic: Speaking of vehicles, while you might be offering curbside pick-up, you will still want to be alerted if a vehicle shows up outside your facilities at off-peak times. For example, if there is a car parked outside the back of your cultivation facility at 2 a.m., you will be alerted right away. The geographic zones and timeframes are defined by you, so when you are notified you can be sure it is suspicious behavior and not an employee coming and going.
Aside from analytics, another great IP camera feature that can help, particularly in cannabis installations, is Region of Interest (ROI) compression. Since many cannabis businesses must record surveillance video 24/7, this feature can help reduce your storage and bandwidth. ROI compression allows you to hone in on parts of a video scene that are the most important to you. For example, if you only want to focus on the plants in your cultivation facility and don’t care to see anything in the background, you can compress the background scene and only focus on the cannabis plants. This will ensure that your bandwidth-intense frames are transmitted less frequently, freeing up bandwidth and storage space and allowing you to purchase fewer hard drives.
While COVID-19 has changed the way a lot of cannabis operators are doing business, the need for the best possible security has not changed. Investing in a video surveillance system that includes IP cameras with AI analytics will not only help you navigate security regulations but will also provide you with peace of mind. To learn more, visit www.marchnetworks.com/cannabis-security
About the author: Chris Jensen is the Cannabis Market Manager for March Networks, a leading provider of intelligent IP video surveillance and business intelligence solutions.