Colorado Medical Marijuana Code 6-14-10: Security Camera System Requirements For Cannabis Farms And Dispensaries

Colorado Cannabis Video Surveillance State Requirements

Here are the requirements for Colorado state as listed in Chapter 6-14: Medical Marijuana 6-14-10. Legislative Intent and Purpose., sec. title: "Requirements Related to Monitoring and Security of Restricted Areas and Inventory?"

All components of the security plan submitted with the application, as it may be amended, shall be in good working order, monitored, and secured twenty-four hours per day. A separate security system is required for each business. The security plan must include, at a minimum, the following security measures:

(a) Cameras. The medical marijuana business shall install and use security cameras to monitor and record all areas of the premises (except in restrooms and consulting rooms while a patient is undressed), and where persons may gain or attempt to gain access to marijuana or cash maintained by the medical marijuana business. Cameras shall record operations of the business to the off-site location, as well as all potential areas of ingress or egress to the business with sufficient detail to identify facial features and clothing. Recordings from security cameras shall be maintained for a minimum of forty days* (this was originally 30 and later revised to 40 days) in a secure offsite location in the city or through a service over a network that provides on-demand access, commonly referred to as a "cloud." The offsite location shall be included in the security plan submitted to the city and provided to the Boulder Police Department upon request, and updated within seventy-two hours of any change of such location.

(b) Use of Safe for Storage. The medical marijuana business shall install and use a safe for storage of any processed marijuana and cash on the premises when the business is closed to the public. The safe shall be incorporated into the building structure or securely attached thereto. For medical marijuana-infused products that must be kept refrigerated or frozen, the business may lock the refrigerated container or freezer in a manner authorized by the city in place of use of a safe so long as the container is affixed to the building structure.

(c) Alarm System. The medical marijuana business shall install and use an alarm system that is monitored by a company that is staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. The security plan submitted to the city shall identify the company monitoring the alarm, including contact information, and updated within seventy-two hours of any change of monitoring company.


*RETAIL MARIJUANA CODE 1 CCR 212-2 added a few more items

1. All camera views of all Limited Access Areas must be continuously recorded 24 hours a day. The use of motion detection is authorized when a Licensee can demonstrate that monitored activities are adequately recorded.

2. All surveillance recordings must be kept for a minimum of 40 days and be in a format that can be easily accessed for viewing. Video recordings must be archived in a format that ensures authentication of the recording as legitimately captured video and guarantees that no alteration of the recorded image has taken place.

How to Comply with the Colorado Recording Regulations:

Colorado does not have as much in terms of recording requirements, other than having cameras.

How to Comply with the Colorado Storage Regulations:

Like most states, the storage requirements are the hard part.

We cover storage requirements in-depth on the main Cannabis regulations page. For Colorado, you would only need 88% of what a provider in Washington State (what we used as an example on that page) would need on the charts we have listed there.

As far as the requirement for offsite storage, ignore that as it would mean the hassle of you driving back and forth to that location. Focus on the "or" in that regulation. Despite having a fundamental misunderstanding as to how the system works and essentially writing gibberish, we think that when they say "through a service over a network that provides on-demand access, commonly referred to as a 'cloud,'" that they mean, that you can watch the system remotely. This describes every surveillance system we carry and the majority on the market. What they got wrong was describing the technology as "cloud." The technology that surveillance systems use is Peer-to-Peer (P2P) rather than "cloud."

So, what's the difference between P2P and cloud then?

P2P is what most surveillance systems use. They send video on demand to whoever is watching the system with no central server in the way (cloud means multiple redundant central servers). They usually send a full HD video stream when watching a single camera full screen and low-resolution streams when watching the cameras on a grid.

Cloud cameras, like Google Nest, Samsung Arlo, or Ring doorbells, record video clips (not continuous video) when a motion sensor is triggered. Your requirements state that you must continuously record 24-hours a day, so you can't use a cloud camera.

24/7 continuous, multi-camera, cloud-based surveillance, especially in rural areas (where a cannabis farm is located), is a pipedream that can only exist when the average rural internet upload speeds are about 1000x faster than they are now. Even most city-based ISPs can only connect fast enough to send video clips (not continuous footage) for one to four cloud cameras at once.

The speed of the average internet upload speed of a US internet connection is about 5Mbps. A single 1080P camera creates 2.5-5Mbps of video footage a second. The average cannabis system is thirty to sixty cameras. What they wrote is impossible. They must have meant P2P.

*We're not lawyers and laws do change. We try our best to keep this page updated with changes to the law, but you should always do your own research or hire your own lawyer to guarantee compliance with the law.