Illinois Cannabis Security Requirements


In Illinois, both medical and adult use marijuana have been legalized. The Illinois state adult use marijuana rules were finalized and became effective on January 1, 2020. 

Through the Illinois cannabis license application, potential license holders must outline a compliant security plan along with a floor plan.

It’s vital to select reputable Illinois cannabis security companies in the application process and for continued security services upon receiving a license to operate in the state of Illinois.

Illinois marijuana organizations must implement security measures to deter and prevent entry into and theft of cannabis or currency and must submit their floor plan or security plan for pre-approval by the Department. 

Any changes to the approved floor plan or security plan must be submitted to the Department.

Illinois Dispensary Security​

Per Illinois cannabis regulations, dispensaries must implement security measures and install equipment to protect the premises, purchasers, and the dispensing organization agents.

Illinois cannabis dispensaries must develop and implement policies to ensure safe and controlled flow of patients or purchasers moving from the facility entrance into the dispensing areas while safeguarding the limited access areas with locked doors. 

During operating hours, all cannabis must be stored and dispensed from restricted access areas. 

When the dispensary is closed, all cannabis and currency must be stored in a reinforced vault room in the restricted area in a manner as to prevent diversion, theft or loss. 

The reinforced vault room and any other cannabis storage areas must remain securely locked and prevent unauthorized entry.

Restricted Access Areas

All restricted access areas must be secure, with locking devices that prevent access from the limited access areas. 

Illinois marijuana facilities must prohibit keys, if applicable, from being left in the locks, or stored or placed in a location accessible to persons other than specifically authorized personnel. 

Facilities must also prohibit accessibility of security measures, including combination numbers, passwords, or electronic or biometric security systems to persons other than specifically authorized dispensing organization agents.

Security and Alarm

Illinois cannabis operations must have an adequate security plan and security system to prevent and detect diversion, theft, or loss of cannabis, currency, or unauthorized intrusion using commercial grade equipment installed by an Illinois licensed private alarm contractor or private alarm contractor agency. At minimum, a dispensing operation must have the following:

  1. A perimeter alarm on all entry points and glass break protection on perimeter windows;
  2. Security shatterproof tinted film on exterior windows;
  3. A failure notification system that provides an audible, text, or visual notification of any failure in the surveillance system, including, but not limited to, panic buttons, alarms, and video monitoring system. 
  4. A duress alarm, panic button, and alarm, or holdup alarm and after-hours intrusion detection alarm that by design and purpose will directly or indirectly notify, by the most efficient means, the Public Safety Answering Point for the law enforcement agency having primary jurisdiction; 
  5. Security equipment to deter and prevent unauthorized entrance into the dispensary, including electronic door locks on the limited and restricted access areas that include devices or a series of devices to detect unauthorized intrusion that may include a signal system interconnected with a radio frequency method, cellular, private radio signals or other mechanical or electronic device.

Video Monitoring


To monitor the dispensary, the dispensing organization shall incorporate continuous electronic video monitoring of enclosed dispensary areas, including all points of entry and exit. 

The cameras shall be directed so all areas are captured, including, but not limited to, safes, vaults, sales areas, and areas where cannabis is stored, handled, dispensed, or destroyed. 

Security cameras shall be angled to allow for facial recognition. Also, the outside areas, the storefront, and the parking lot will also be video monitored. All monitors must be 19 inches or greater.

All recordings must be embedded with a date and time stamp and have the ability to remain operational during a power outage with a 4-hour minimum battery backup. 

The video surveillance equipment shall allow for the exporting of still images in an industry standard image format. 

The facility security features must include a failure notification system that provides an audible and visual notification of any failure in the electronic video monitoring system.

Illinois Cannabis Cultivation Security

Illinois allows for the cultivation of both medical and adult-use cannabis. 

Cannabis Cultivation CCTV


An Illinois cannabis cultivation facility is required to operate and maintain in good working order a 24 hour, seven days a week, closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance system on the premises that complies with the following minimum standards: 

  1. Visually records and monitors all building entrances and exits, all parking lot areas, and rear alley areas immediately adjacent to the building, and covers the entire inside of the facility, including all limited access areas and all areas where cannabis is produced, stored, shipped or destroyed, but does not include restrooms nor the executive office; 
  2. Fixed cameras must be installed to provide a consistent recorded image of these areas and must be installed in such a way to maximize the quality of facial and body images and to avoid backlighting and physical obstructions;
  3. Cameras installed outdoors and in low-light interior areas shall be day/night cameras with a minimum resolution of 600 lines per inch (analog) or D1 (IP) and a minimum light factor requirement of 0.7 LUX;

Illinois cultivation security plans must ensure video recording device are digital and meet the following minimum standards: 

  1. Displays a date and time stamp on all recorded video;
  2. Can produce a digital video disc using an installed media recording drive;
  3. The ability to remain operational during a power outage; 
  4. Allow for the exporting of still images in an industry standard image format;  
  5. Exported video shall also have the ability to be saved in an industry standard file format that can be played on a standard computer operating system; 
  6. A display monitor with a minimum screen size of 12 inches shall be connected to the electronic recording security system at all times. 

Security recordings will have image resolution shall be at least D1 and be at a frame rate of at least three frames per second during alarm or motion based recording. 

The recording system for the security cameras must be located in a locked, tamper-proof compartment. A cultivation center must prohibit taping over existing security video from the last 60 days. 

The facility must ensure the availability of a video printer capable of immediately producing a clear still photo from any video camera image. 

Access to surveillance areas must be limited to persons who are essential to surveillance operations, law enforcement agencies, security system service personnel, the Department, and others when approved by the Department. Surveillance rooms shall remain locked.

Alarm System

Alarm System Panel

An Illinois marijuana cultivation center must install, maintain and use a professionally monitored robbery and burglary alarm system which, at a minimum, provides coverage of all facility entrances and exits, rooms with exterior windows, rooms with exterior walls, roof hatches, skylights and storage rooms that contain safes. 

The following types of alarms may be utilized in the cultivation alarm system:

  1. Duress alarm, which means a silent security alarm system signal generated by the entry of a designated code into an arming station in order to signal that the alarm user is being forced to turn off the system. 
  2. Panic alarm, which means an audible security alarm system signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life threatening or emergency situation requiring law enforcement response. 
  3. Holdup alarm, which means a silent alarm signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a robbery in progress. 
  4. Automatic voice dialer, which means any electrical, electronic, mechanical or other device capable of being programmed to send a prerecorded voice message requesting dispatch, when activated, over a telephone line, radio or other communication system to a law enforcement, public safety or emergency services agency. 
  5. A failure notification system that provides an audible, text or visual notification of any failure in the surveillance system. The failure notification system shall provide an alert to the cultivation center, within five minutes after the failure, by telephone, email or text message. 

The cultivation facility’s alarm system must remain operational during a power outage and ensure all access doors are not solely controlled by an electronic access panel to ensure that locks are not released during power outage. 

All cultivation of cannabis by a cultivation center must take place in an enclosed, locked facility at the physical address provided to the Department of Agriculture during the licensing process. 

The cultivation center location shall only be accessed by the agents working for the cultivation center, the Department of Agriculture staff performing inspections.

Also read: Illinois Crime Statistics, Data & Trends

Our Illinois Cannabis Security Services

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Our Illinois marijuana security consultants are standing by to ensure your Illinois Marijuana Business remains in compliance and allows your visitors, purchasers, company employees, and the larger community to feel a sense of ease. Contact us today for a consultation. With our vast experience, we have your Illinois marijuana security needs covered.

Original blog post was adopted from Seed to Sale Security, a division of Safe and Sound Security.

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