Access Control Solutions that Address Security & Safety Risks of Cannabis Industry

In the United States, the sale of licensed recreational and medical cannabis soared to $27 billion in 2021, surpassing the $20.5 billion revenue of Starbucks. Despite this rapid growth, the cannabis industry faces numerous challenges, primarily due to its varying legal status across states. In this blog, we’ll discuss a few security and safety risks involved in the cannabis industry as well as the role of access control systems in mitigating these issues.


Cannabis businesses face an elevated risk of robberies primarily because the majority of their transactions are conducted in cash. Federal regulations often lead state-level banks to decline doing business with cannabis dispensaries, making it difficult for them to open business bank accounts. Consequently, these businesses are forced to keep large amounts of cash on-site, increasing their vulnerability to theft. Marijuana cultivation sites are also targets of burglaries due to the high value of the product. Implementing access control systems is essential for both dispensaries and cultivation facilities to safeguard the company’s assets from loss. These systems act as a barrier, preventing individuals without proper authorization from entering. This reduces the risk of theft of both money and products.

Employee Theft

However, external threats are not the only security risks that the cannabis industry faces. Current or former employees are responsible for up to 90% of theft incidents in marijuana dispensaries. Access control systems mitigate internal risks. They track employee access, recording who had access and when. This allows security teams to detect suspicious activity, such as an employee frequenting storage or vault rooms. Furthermore, access control systems make revoking access for previous employees much easier. Rather than asking for physical keys to be returned, the business can deactivate ID badges, PIN codes, or biometric credentials through the system. This method is more secure compared to traditional keys, which may be copied without the business’s knowledge and used in the future.


Before products reach dispensaries, they go through various points in the supply chain which increases their risk of tampering. This tampering has negative effects for cannabis businesses. Products may become unsellable and customers may lose trust in the company, leading to financial losses. Not only that, as cannabis is a consumable product, selling tampered goods could have severe consequences for consumer health. Access control systems play a crucial role in protecting the cannabis industry from tampering. They prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access to cultivation facilities and dispensaries, therefore reducing the risk of tampering with growing operations of the final product.

Patient Healthcare Data Leaks

Currently, medical marijuana is legal in 38 states and Washington, D.C. Under HIPAA regulations, cannabis companies involved in medical marijuana operations must have protocols in place to protect patient health information. Access control systems help businesses meet compliance with these requirements by strictly regulating access to areas where patient data is stored or processed. These systems bar external threats from entering, ensuring that sensitive patient data remains confidential and securely handled by only authorized and trusted individuals. In the event of information leakage, security teams can review the access logs and quickly identify the perpetrator. This ensures accountability and prevents future incidents.

Workplace Injuries

Cannabis processing involves the use of hazardous materials and specialized machinery, which increase the risk of workplace injuries. Access control systems play a dual role in not only restricting entry but also improving employee safety. Businesses can use these systems to exclusively grant entry to personnel with the requisite training in equipment operation, handling volatile chemicals, and adherence to safety protocols. This significantly reduces the probability of accidents, ensuring that only personnel with the necessary expertise can access potentially hazardous areas. This added layer of security enhances the safety of the work environment within cannabis processing facilities.

Face Recognition Access Control Systems from 2M Technology

Businesses in the cannabis industry require access control systems that offer the highest level of security but without hindering operations. Face recognition access control systems utilize facial recognition to validate access, providing an unmatched level of security. Unlike physical ID badges or PIN codes, facial features cannot be shared or exchanged between individuals, reducing the likelihood of unauthorized access. These systems also streamline movement for employees between different areas, including grow houses, processing areas, inventory rooms, and sales floors.

If you need a cannabis access control system, 2M Technology can help you develop a comprehensive solution tailored to the needs of your facility or dispensary. We offer a wide range of face recognition access control products, including terminals compatible with door locks and turnstiles. For more information, contact the 2M Technology sales team at +1 (866) 708-5401 or at You can also use the links below to start a live chat with a sales consultant or sign up for a live demo of our products.

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