|Axxon’s IP networking functionality allows administrators to remotely access and store clear high resolution video data
Security, identification, access control and surveillance
In 2010, the state of Colorado approved legislation (HB 1284) governing the cultivation, manufacture, distribution and sale of medical marijuana. Licensing and operation of medical marijuana dispensaries and the associated agricultural facilities are regulated by the Colorado Department of Revenue. While policies and rules for enforcing the laws continue to evolve, ensuring the secure operations of these facilities is a critical component of compliance with state and local law.
Medical marijuana is regulated on many levels. Personnel and inventory are both subject to strict scrutiny by state and local regulators. Facility owners must provide the state with an accurate list of all officers and employees associated with their operations. In addition, accurate records must be maintained for all inventory and business transactions, and the life cycle of each plant must be tracked and recorded. Dispensaries and agricultural facilities must determine what technologies, systems and procedures will be needed to comply with state and local laws, and to meet the unique challenges of securing their facilities.
The law requires medical marijuana facilities to maintain proper security with lighting, physical security, video, alarm and other controls, which can be challenging for large medical marijuana operations such as Pain Management of Colorado (PMOC). Operations include multiple locations—both retail outlets where patients purchase medicine, and large warehouses where product is grown and harvested. Each facility has different needs and requires multiple layers of security. For example, video surveillance in a small retail facility may be very reliable. However, video surveillance inside a large grow facility may be compromised when plants grow large enough to obstruct cameras. Parallel security measures are necessary and reliable identification and access control must be established at all points of entry and exit.
Security in the medical marijuana industry requires an extremely flexible and integrated system. The Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue is working with facility owners to ensure compliance with new rules and regulations and has suggested that remote access to video surveillance data could aid in their ability to effectively conduct oversight.
ViewOptix develops highly customised, industry-specific solutions
ViewOptix specialises in developing highly customised, integrated, scalable surveillance and monitoring solutions for industry-specific applications. To address the security, regulatory, and quality control needs of medical marijuana dispensaries and agricultural facilities, ViewOptix partnered with AxxonSoft and selected the Intellect platform to develop an industry solution that meets with and exceeds state and local requirements, as well as those of the dispensaries and agricultural facilities. ViewOptix has previously partnered with AxxonSoft and designed inventory tracking systems for the rail and shipping industries using optical character recognition, and incorporating mobile and remote access features.
"Axxon Intellect offered a platform with the diverse features we needed to build a comprehensive system for managing the identification of workers through facial recognition, controlling access points and providing intelligent monitoring of entire facilities," said Michael Turcotte, president of ViewOptix. "AxxonSoft has supported us every step of the way to help develop and deliver the best solution for our clients."
ViewOptix used these key features of Axxon's Intellect platform to meet the needs of medical marijuana facilities:
- Axxon’s integration capabilities make it easy to connect security systems with employee management databases and building operations systems that control fire alarms, sprinklers, temperature, humidity, CO2 levels and lighting.
- Axxon’s systems are all fully scalable from the smallest to the largest facility. It is a future-proof and economical platform that eliminates the need to replace and purchase new systems to keep up with corporate growth and expansion.
- Axxon integrates with point-of-sale functions at dispensaries for analysing data from cash registers and scales, and monitoring activity at the safe. It also allows for seed-to-sale tracking through GPS locating, barcode and radio frequency identification (RFID).
- With image processing and built-in intelligent video analytics, Axxon Intellect can be configured to compare and interpret diverse data types, including facial features, against stored content. The system can be programmed to respond to conditions with alerts and other actions.
- Axxon’s internet protocol (IP) networking functionality allows administrators to remotely access and store clear, high resolution video data for auditing and forensic analysis.
Solution: Axxon Intellect for Facial Recognition
When PMOC needed an intelligent video access control and surveillance system for their growing facilities, ViewOptix used Axxon Intellect to create a robust, yet cost-effective solution. The system’s core capability included facial recognition for employee identification and access, delivered for far less than traditionally available through other technologies.
PMOC, like all medical marijuana facilities in Colorado, must comply with state regulatory requirements by reporting and accounting for all employees. The company wanted a solution that was more secure than keys, punch pads or card readers to definitively identify staff members, and confirm authorisation for entering various locations within facilities.
"Card readers can run the risk of loss or theft," said Ryan Geller, president of PMOC. "With facial recognition, we can more securely control access, and the system can work in many locations without having to install new keys or card equipment for every facility."
ViewOptix created video-enabled security points at all entrances and exits with Axxon’s facial recognition module. Employees were photographed and images entered into a database that could be queried when the employee looked directly into a camera at each door. The system was easily configured to specifically control access points by employee. Data about activities at all secure entry points is stored for review and analysis. It is also stored remotely off site for back up redundancy and security.
Results: a model for leading edge, compliant facilities
PMOC is finding applications for the ViewOptix system beyond security. Time-lapse footage can be used to monitor growing conditions, determine harvest times and optimise plant yields.
"ViewOptix has developed a video surveillance solution that enables us to record and monitor plant growth, health and nutrient levels, and automatically adjust environmental controls," said Ryan Geller, president of operations at PMOC. "The system is also integrated with our dispensaries for security at point-of-sale."
ViewOptix’s solution built on the Axxon Intellect platform is a leading edge security, compliance and operations surveillance system to serve a niche industry. Other state and federal officials are evaluating how the system could be adapted for use at schools and in homeland security applications.