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Recreational Marijuana in Oregon?

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Marijuana-in-Oregon

The State of Oregon is one for the most recent states to allow recreational marijuana in Oregon State. Of course, Oregon being its own state, is going to make up its own laws covering the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and legal possession of weed/ recreational Marijuana in Oregon.

There are some general laws that all states with recreational marijuana have. Don’t smoke and drive, you have to be at least 21 years old to possess any weed and no public use is tolerated. In comparison, the rules for Marijuana consumption are very similar to the rules for alcohol consumption.  The biggest differences in the laws for Marijuana in Oregon are for the growers, manufacturers and distributors.

Right now the state of Oregon has some very strict rules but, what is surprising is the lack of description for surveillance and security systems. To put it into perspective, security protects your business from people that would do harm to it regardless if it is from the inside or out. Page 47 section 86 of House Bill 3400 from the state of Oregon states that you are responsible for “[(A) Installing a minimum security system, including a video surveillance system, alarm system and safe; and]”. Then this system must meet the requirements of any rule adopted by the authority under that subsection.

If you continue to read the bill it just goes on about how to track medical card purchasers and denying of intoxicated customers. That part could have easily been adopted or just straight copied for the currently existing alcohol laws, but that is not the troubling part.

The lack of specifications on theses so called “security systems” is a huge gap. The law also implies the local municipalities will have different requirements than the state.  In Colorado and Washington they have minimum specifications written into the law so there is no leaving it up to the inspector to say yes or no I think it looks good. The inspector says yes you have the right setup or no you do not based on state law regulations.

By definition, a security system would alert you to an intruder. Well, I could put one PIR sensor on a window and “poof” . . . I have a security system that is a joke.  On the other side, the inspector could demand you put sensors on everything including the plants (which makes no sense). The inspectors are not security experts. Sure it makes sense to put sensors on exterior doors and windows, but not interior doors and windows.

Types of locking mechanisms for doors and egress. The lack of descriptive language for “security” again can and likely will be a judgement call. Ask any fire marshal and they will tell you a locked door must allow for unrestricted egress from a building.

An alarm system is also required at the location of distribution, manufacturing , and growing. Again the way “alarm “ is not defined is a problem. When it comes to securing your perimeter from intruders, this is very important to protect your business.  You are going to need, not want, but need sensors on every external door and window. If you have a gated facility you are going to want sensors on the gates as well. Instead of sensors, installing an access control system that can work with a gate would be best. As an access control system would have a log of people going in and out with their access cards or fobs. Getting into access control there are different types of mag locks with different amounts of force holding the lock shut. More to the point, force equals mass times acceleration (F=MA)  meaning that a 350LB mag door lock is not the best option. Unfortunately businesses that grow or sell marijuana products are targets. For someone like myself, if I ran full speed at a door with a 350LB rating I would open it. My shoulder would hurt and might get bruised, but I would still get the door open without tools. Never just meet regulations when it comes to security . . . always exceed them.  Get the 1200LB mag lock and know I will need a Mack truck to open the door.

Another aspect of an alarm system is that it notifies somebody that there is a breach in real time. In a fire alarm they typically notify a central monitoring station and personnel is dispatched to go onsite to investigate. How that exactly works is dependent on the municipality. Some cities monitor themselves and charge the business while others cites have a separate monitoring businesses that monitor and then notify the authorities if needed.

The surveillance system and lack of visible ID cards on staff, are going to be the gravy in fines the state collects from everyone. I have heard this first hand from the growers in Washington and Colorado. These are the easiest things to check and fine you for. All employees must have the badges on them and not covered. It does not matter if it is under a shirt because you will still get fined. For the security camera system they cite people for not having the correct resolutions, frame rates, and total recording time.  In WA and CO the resolution must be at least D1 with 10 frames per second and 45 days storage of data. When inspectors ask you to show them your settings . . . they had better be correct. For playback, they will ask you to go back as far as you can and if you have 44 days and 23 hours your are going to get fined! You must have at least 45 days. We have calculators and people to ask to make sure you get the right equipment. Also, our entry level equipment will in most cases fill all the requirements but they will have to be configured to the state law.

By the end of the year, Oregon is supposed to have more clearly defined what the security system requirements are for possessing Marijuana in Oregon. Once all of the specifications are known, give us a call so we can get you compliant. When you are within or exceed state requirements you can rest easy knowing that you are not going to get fined because you didn’t know or were unsure about set up. Here at Security Camera King we have worked closely with the states including Oregon in getting requirements that work for everyone. Then, we train our customers on operations of the security cameras so you all understand the law and your equipment.  

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Dan Maresca
Dan Maresca
Security Camera King and Techpro Security Products Tech Support Specialist.

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