If you’re starting a medical cannabis business, you may be swamped with various considerations. “Where should it be located?”, “What staff will I need?” or “How will I set up the facility” are all important questions best answered by those with experience.
When considering network and physical security and your ability to meet and/or exceed compliance requirements, Applied Technologies offers a complete solution for your operation. We have the technology integration solutions and team of certified professionals to ensure you are secure, competitive, and can make informed business decisions.
Medical cannabis facilities can be various sizes and configurations depending on the company. They include a greenhouse for growing the seeds, and a manufacturing facility for processing the product. Each will want to protect not only their operations, but their proprietary intellectual property that provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Companies also of course will include a dispensary or retail storefront, where patients can buy medical cannabis. While the stigma around cannabis is being addressed on the side of the patients, it’s also important to address it on the manufacturing side, and how best to produce medical cannabis.
Manufacturers will need a doctor’s letter of recommendation to apply for a state medical card, but keep in mind that regulations and HIIPA requirements may change as medical cannabis becomes more mainstream. Sellers will need to collect some identifiable patient information, and state and local governments are still settling on what the best regulations for security will be moving forward.
These will connect back to the state, so that is an open portal that must be considered from a cyber security perspective. Depending on the compliance rules decided on, that security may be audited on a yearly basis. Not only will you need a strong firewall on Security Information Management (SIM) monitoring and IT staff, you’ll need to routinely check in with employees and educate them to ensure the human-run side of your business data is protected from threats like phishing.
Medical cannabis facilities are not necessarily more susceptible to network breaches, but it’s important to remember that hackers are not interested in if you’re compliant or not. In addition, simply being compliant may not be a high enough level of security to protect your facility.
How does Applied Technologies help?
You may be new to the medical cannabis industry; many are. Even small computer issues could be enough to shut down your facility, so it’s important to ensure you have someone on your side with experience and proven solutions. At Applied Technologies, we have staff that are experienced not just in physical and network security, but also in cannabis growing and compliance regulations.
New rules are being released regularly, so it’s important to have a partner who can read them and interpret what they will mean for updating security measures.
Applied Technology Setup and Management
Applied Technology helps you map out a complete digital security and network solution, including both physical and cyber security. Our design experience will ensure your environment is secure and that you can run your business uninterrupted. Applied Technologies will:
- Assess the floor plan
- Review facility goals
- Identify the plant capacity for the facility
- Identify security camera placement
- Set apart network storage areas
- Ensure IT and infrastructure are included in the budget
- Check compliance regulations
When becoming licensed, remember there are a limited number available, and you’ll need to accept your license within 48 hours of receiving your email. State compliance officers will be working with facilities across the state to enforce the rules, approximately four times the number of officers as those covering all bars and liquor establishments. While it’s still a business like most others, ensuring compliance regulations are met is essential, and being proactive is the best way to stay compliant. It’s also important to remember that even with a well-secured network, it can be breached due to human error managing it, so employee education is critical as well.
During initial planning for your facility, keep in mind that you’ll either need staffing or consulting for physical and database SQL concerns, which is a six-figure salary. One of the most common mistakes we see new cannabis businesses make is not budgeting enough for the set-up and management of their network infrastructure and security. Many simply don’t know the depth and complexity of what’s required, and the level of expertise needed to manage it all.
High speed internet is also necessary for one of these facilities, so keep that in mind when considering a location. It’s tempting to pick a rural location for the space and lower priced real estate, but it’s not always an ideal choice when it comes to internet connectivity. Be sure to check on whether this type of infrastructure is available in the location you’re considering, or budget appropriately so that you have an alternate plan in place.
A partnership with Applied Technologies will help manage your facility and build a team to make your facility succeed. Learn more about how we can support you at www.appliedtech.pro or contact Krista Salvatore, Vice President, General Manager at [email protected] or 314.736.0500 for more information or to discuss a technology assessment.