By Tom Vigilante, Jr.

My wife, Tami, and I have had the “Just Say No to Drugs” talk with our children already. I remember vividly how my parents outlined for me the dangers of getting involved with drugs and how falling down that path would more than likely prohibit me from achieving my lifelong dreams. As a parent, all I can hope for is that the education my wife and I provided our children for staying away from using drugs continues to resonate with them as they make their own choices in life.

So how do I explain why their parent’s real-time video monitoring services company is in business with medical marijuana dispensaries that are soon to be opening up for throughout Arizona and those that are already serving customers in nearby states, such as California, Colorado and New Mexico?

It’s easy.

Because CCTV and video surveillance at a medical marijuana dispensary acts as a crime deterrent and is mostly mandated by local law enforcement agencies in cities or territories handing out applications for these businesses to operate.

Let’s face it; medical marijuana dispensaries are legal now in 17 states and Washington, D.C. In addition to Arizona, the other states to have legalized medical marijuana sales are Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

According to a recent Arizona Republic article, the Tempe, Arizona Police Department uses a nine-page security plan to monitor dispensaries in their city. The plan includes mandatory requirements such as:
• Lighting requirements for the building’s exterior and parking lots.
• Closed circuit television system to monitor access the entrance and exits of the building, points of sale, grow areas and the parking lot.
• Sufficient lighting and illumination for exterior video cameras, which must have resolution of 704 x 480 or better.
• Digitally recorded video must be saved for a minimum of 31 days.

In a recent segment that ran on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” correspondent Steve Croft discussed the mandated video security in medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. No state has gone to the lengths to manage medical marijuana that Colorado has. Every licensed dispensary must grow at least 70 percent of its own product indoors, so harvesting and sales can be closely monitored.

Matt Cook, a former narcotics officer who helped write the law and served as Colorado’s first director of enforcement, discussed his state’s medical marijuana laws to Croft during the “60 Minutes” piece.

“If you note, video security cameras systems,” Cook said to Croft in the “60 Minutes” segment as they tour a dispensary. “We created a very transparent regulatory scheme and wanted to ensure what they said they were doing, they were actually doing. We track everything from seed to sale and they have to account for 100 percent of it.”

At Centralized Vision, we offer an innovative security platform that provides pro-active protection of property and assets by using a remote-camera monitoring system with real-time response options that could be used by medical marijuana dispensaries to satisfy their state-mandated security plans. Dispensaries can be viewed 24 hours a day by our technicians that visually monitor our clients’ property in real time and can dispatch security or law enforcement officers if a crime occurs. By using the latest in security technology from a centralized location, Centralized Vision provides affordable pricing options that fit into the budget for any dispensary in any state.

We are already past the point of whether medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed in Arizona and other states. I am more worried about how we can offer a solution to prevent crimes in communities where the dispensaries are located. The video monitoring services we offer at Centralized Vision are a good start to serve as a crime deterrent.

Tom Vigilante, Jr. is President & Founder of Centralized Vision, which has offices in Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver. For more information on real-time video verification services or GPS monitoring, go to centralizedvision.com or call 855-888-8094. Businesses in Colorado should connect with Casey Kowal at caseyk@centralizedvision.com.