Securing Cannabis: Intelligent Infrastructure Solutions for Cannabis Businesses


Securing Cannabis: Intelligent Infrastructure Solutions for Cannabis Businesses

*As contributed by Brandon Reich (Vice President, Security & IoT Solutions, Pivot3) for Cannabis Magazine

It is no secret that the increased demand in legal cannabis is on the rise. Thirty countries have legalized the use of medical cannabis, and while it is still illegal in the United States at the federal level, currently 33 states support the use of medical cannabis (with recreational cannabis legal in 10 states). And the growth of the market will only continue: Grandview Research reports that the global cannabis market is projected to hit $146.4 billion by 2025.

This recent surge in business in the market has led to significant expansion in a variety of areas, such as the demand for security and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to help protect this thriving industry.

The lucrative nature of the business, along with the requirement to comply with government regulations, makes the need to safeguard crops from seed-to-sale imperative. From comprehensively securing grow facilities to monitoring product packaging and shipping, this relatively new market segment faces unique challenges when it comes to ensuring safety and compliance.

One cannabis-focused business is making significant efforts in ensuring it maximizes technology to protect its investments and comply with Health Canada regulations. Based in Ontario, Canada, Wayland Group is a global leader in quality medical and non-medical cannabis products.

With an additional 500,000-square-foot grow facility in Dresden, Germany, the company needed a solution that would centralize management, and provide reliability and resilience to ensure system uptime, and support standardization across its systems and IoT devices.

Protecting the Cannabis Crop

The ability to comply with governmental regulations and protect a valuable cannabis crop at all stages of its journey from seed to end product, including securing grow operations and monitoring personnel access to the facilities, made the need for a security system a mission-critical asset for Wayland Group.

Stephen Lem, Wayland Group’s Senior Director of Security, inherited a varied network of security systems and IoT devices that were not designed to work together. To comply with Health Canada regulations and protect the business as it scales and brings online a new modern processing plant, Lem needed to update his video surveillance system.

Health Canada requires cannabis growers to maintain a rolling one year of video footage and can request video at any time, necessitating a search through terabytes or petabytes of video data to locate the requested footage.

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Lem’s original security system, including a basic network-attached storage system, lacked the performance or reliability necessary to support agency requests.

“As our business grew, we began to experience scale-out problems, and with our aggressive business and expansion model, that wasn’t acceptable,” said Lem

Creating Operational Efficiencies For the Grow

In order to effectively meet the demands of government regulations and keep grow facilities secure, Wayland Group updated its video surveillance network with Pivot3’s Safe Campus platform.

The purpose-built solution provides them the ideal combination of security, performance, resilience and ease of use for campus environments. By eliminating downtime, data loss and video frame loss—which is critical for Wayland— the solution provides seamless, non-disruptive scalability, and offers the ability to consolidate VMS and other security, IoT and datacenter applications on a single platform.

The benefits of the intelligent infrastructure solution have already made a significant impact in operational efficiencies for Wayland. Lem says the solution allows the organization to pull video footage from a specific time period in less than a minute, instead of the hours that would have been necessary before the deployment.

Wayland is also benefiting from sustained, always-available access to video and IoT data, the highest video integrity, the flexibility to expand systems and operations as needed, and lower costs and complexity.

Additionally, Wayland Group gains access to the ability to add intelligence with video analytics and the reliability necessary to eliminate downtime.

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“The solution is designed to meet our specific needs, thoroughly climate controlled, and driven by artificial intelligence and a control platform,” said Lem.

Additionally, the centralized solution allows Wayland Group to easily scale as more cameras are added to their surveillance network, and the company can scale compute, capacity and bandwidth simultaneously by adding a single appliance or independently add capacity with storage-only appliances to improve efficiency at scale.

Aside from helping to meet current security solution needs, Pivot3’s Safe Campus solution includes the option to grow with potential future business expansions.

With medical cannabis currently responsible for the largest share of the global cannabis market, the scalable solution will allow market leaders to keep up with demand as more states and countries pass legislation to legalize cannabis products, both medically and recreationally.



Brandon Reich is Vice President, Security & IoT Solutions, Pivot3.


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