Remote Video Surveillance Vs. Security Guards: Two Popular Cannabis Security Services Compared


Table of Content


April 25, 2023

In this post, we will compare the two types of cannabis security services that businesses commonly use to protect their farms and dispensaries: remote video surveillance and security guards.

Here are the various factors we considered for each marijuana security solution:

  • COST

The need of choosing the right cannabis business security solution is increased by the significant danger of theft and other criminal activity against marijuana businesses.

Indeed, since 2018, licensed Canadian producers have reported a rising amount of lost or stolen cannabis to Health Canada, with 2,127.47 kg reported missing in 2022.

So, if you want to know which solution provides the greatest security for cannabis businesses, keep reading to the end of this review.

Here we go!

What is remote video surveillance for cannabis businesses?


It usually entails strategically placing security cameras on your marijuana growing farm or in your dispensary.

During surveillance hours, these cameras use advanced analytics to detect suspicious activity on your property. An alarm is triggered in the event of an intrusion, people gathering on your property, or any other unwanted behaviour, and a live video feed of the incident is sent to your security team, who can then quickly examine the situation and take appropriate action.

The cameras may also monitor during working hours, allowing you to monitor how operations on your site are progressing and whether safety protocols are being followed.

Most of the time, authorized individuals can watch live video footage from any Internet-connected computer, laptop, tablet, or phone.

In short, cannabis security camera monitoring keeps you informed of what’s going on on your property at all times and alerts you when a crime is about to occur so your security team can intervene before any harm is done.

What is a security guard and what do they do?


A security guard is a trained professional who is in charge of protecting people, assets, and property from potential dangers. They are often used by private organizations or government entities to deter theft, vandalism, and other illegal activities. 

Security guards are educated to recognize possible safety risks and take preventative measures to avoid incidents. They may also be responsible for monitoring surveillance equipment, responding to alarms, and keeping precise records of their activities.

Security guarding can play an important part in perimeter protection for cannabis businesses. By patrolling the premises, monitoring entry points, and confirming the identification of anybody who enters the property, security guards can help dissuade unlawful activity. They may also run surveillance equipment, validate alarms, and collaborate closely with law enforcement to maintain the facility’s safety and security. 

Security guarding services can assist in defending cannabis companies from threats and ensuring the safety of staff and customers by presenting a noticeable and diligent security presence.

Now that you’ve learned more about the two cannabis security solutions, let’s compare them on ten distinct topics.

Remote video surveillance vs. security guards



Security guards

When it comes to reliability, security guards can provide a strong physical presence and immediate response to potential security threats. However, they can be prone to human error and fatigue, which may impact their reliability. 

For example, security guards sleeping on the job due to exhaustion or boredom endangers your property.

Internal theft is another factor to consider. Some staff may be enticed to steal because of the close proximity and accessibility of your valuable goods. Despite the fact that the vast majority of onsite guards are honest and competent, it only takes one to conspire with an employee and commit theft during surveillance hours.

Remote video surveillance

Remote video surveillance offers a highly reliable solution with 24/7 monitoring capabilities that are not affected by human factors. With advanced analytics and artificial intelligence, remote cannabis video security can detect potential threats and alert the appropriate personnel for immediate response, providing a highly reliable security solution for cannabis businesses.

Security guards are constantly working. They watch videos and monitor alarms, which keeps them alert and preserves the security of your company.

Finally, security operators work remotely, which greatly reduces the possibility of employees establishing malevolent alliances with them against your business when it comes to internal theft. 


Security guards

Security guards can physically patrol the premises and protect all areas when it comes to full perimeter coverage. They cannot, however, be everywhere at the same time. They leave a hole in your security when they abandon their original post to make rounds.

Remote video surveillance

On the other hand, remote video surveillance uses a number of carefully placed cameras to cover the whole perimeter of the property. This makes it possible to monitor all places around-the-clock, even those that security agents might find risky or difficult to enter. 

Remote video surveillance, using advanced analytics and artificial intelligence, can detect potential security breaches and alert the appropriate employees for fast response, making it an efficient and dependable cannabis security system for full perimeter coverage of your farm or dispensary.



Security guards

Because they are physically present on the premises, site guards can provide a rapid response. However, depending on their location and the nature of the emergency, their response time may vary. Indeed, unless a guard is there when a criminal arrives, there is a potential that the thief will go unnoticed until it is too late.

Remote video surveillance

One of the main advantages of live cannabis business security monitoring is that operators can always keep an eye on the entire site. This implies they’ll notice unusual activity right away, regardless of where it occurs. When cameras are overlaid with AI (which can detect movement and unexpected circumstances with speed and accuracy that is often greater than the human eye), security operators can respond extremely swiftly. 

Consequently, while security guards can provide a speedy in-person response, remote video surveillance allows for early detection and an immediate response to any problems.


Security guards

Security guards can be a flexible security option since they can adapt to various situations and respond appropriately. They are, however, constrained by their physical presence and availability. They can only be in one area at a time, as previously stated. While they monitor a remote area of your land, they leave another unattended.

Remote video surveillance

Cannabis security cameras can be set almost anywhere, including zones that are difficult for guards to monitor. Consider a faraway area that is physically distant from the main building (such as the far end of a field). It is possible to install a camera that will cover this location.

It can also be readily connected with other security solutions, such as access control systems, and scaled up or down based on a cannabis business’s evolving security demands. As a result, remote video surveillance is a very adaptable and flexible security solution.


Security guards

A security guard monitoring your site provides a powerful physical presence and acts as a deterrent to any prospective criminal behavior. For instance, if a guard spots a suspicious person wandering about close to your cannabis farm, they can gently request that person to turn around by informing them that they are approaching a private property and preventing potential losses and damage. Physical security guards, however, might not be sufficient to stop increasingly sophisticated illicit activities.

Remote video surveillance

Remote video monitoring, on the other hand, can be a highly successful method of crime prevention. The security operators get alerted the instant something odd happens, thanks to 24/7 surveillance and AI that has been trained to detect suspicious activities, including extremely subtle movements before a person can observe them. The remote security operators can then use the two-way speaker system to immediately communicate with the suspected person and halt the crime before any damage is done.

Read our blog Audio Talk-Down: Its Benefits For Your Business In 5 Simple Points to discover more about voice warnings and how they work.


Security guards

Staffing a large property with enough security personnel to effectively secure it can be extremely costly. In fact, in order to keep your marijuana business safe, you will most likely need to hire more than one security guard, which may double, triple, or even quadruple the expense.

Remote video surveillance

It’s worth noting that, in many circumstances, remote cannabis live security surveillance is less expensive than hiring physical security guards, even when installation fees are factored in. Surveillance cameras are monitored by security personnel remotely. As a result, a single security operator can maintain a 360-degree view of your property at all times and respond to alerts instantly.

Read our blog, How Much Remote Video Monitoring Services Cost in 2023? to learn more about how much remote cannabis security costs.


Security guards

While certified, physical guards do not have the same training as police officers. In general, Canadian security guards do not carry firearms while on the job. To ensure security, they rely on non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray, batons, or tasers, as well as training in de-escalation and conflict resolution tactics.

Despite their training, they may be injured or traumatized if they have to encounter a hostile intruder.

Remote video surveillance

The remote operators are at the monitoring centre. When a crime is committed on your property, they can quickly dispatch authorities from the safety of their workplace.

Furthermore, the fact that live security cameras are constantly recording footage is crucial. The footage is saved and can be replayed later to discover what occurred in a circumstance, such as a broken fence or a safety violation in a grow facility. With this recording, management can see exactly what happened. 


Security guards

In the event of a personal injury or liability claim on your cannabis property, security guards who were present at the time of the incident can provide evidence in the form of a witness statement.

Remote video surveillance

You get access to all recorded footage on your property with remote cannabis live security monitoring. This allows you to immediately investigate an incident in the event of an injury. Instead of posing a risk to your cannabis business, fraudulent claims can be simply rejected.

Furthermore, adopting remote video surveillance eliminates the requirement for human presence, thus lowering the chance of individuals suffering injuries on your property.


Security guards

It might be difficult to find an in-person guarding service provider that works in every region where you may have a cannabis business, and choosing local providers can result in variable service levels. 

Furthermore, the services offered by the same security company may differ between countries, regions, and even cities.

Remote video surveillance

Cannabis remote video monitoring provides a consistent solution across all of your locations, with identical practices and event responses. You will also have the same ease of access to live and recorded video footage from all your locations as you would from a single site.



Security guards

Unfortunately, physical guarding security agents are unable to obtain visual evidence of what occurred during their surveillance shift in the event of an accident, theft, or other criminal activities. They are only able to provide a witness statement.

Remote video surveillance

Cannabis security camera surveillance, on the other hand, records everything so that it may be reviewed and examined later. Analysts can study the footage to identify what happened in the case of an incident. As previously stated, this can aid in the prevention and elimination of liability and fraud action. It can also be utilized as evidence in a criminal case by law enforcement.

Additional advantages of remote video surveillance for cannabis industry security



Having remote workers who can stay connected to your whole site 24/7 is a great way to make sure that your operations run smoothly and that safety rules are followed.

For instance, security operators can identify risky behaviors that take place on your property, such as employees who touch products in a grow facility without wearing the appropriate protective gear, or they can determine if procedures are being broken, such as when a salesperson in a dispensary fails to request identification before selling marijuana to a customer.

As the owner or manager of your cannabis business, you can also access video footage of your site from any Internet-connected device at any time to inspect what is going on and ensure that operations continue to go smoothly.


Remote cannabis live monitoring goes beyond video surveillance. Remote concierge and remote gate control allow visitors’ credentials to be checked via two-way audio and one-way video. These services significantly improve the security of your marijuana company by allowing only authorized individuals in and are totally managed by the security monitoring centre.

How can a cannabis company pick the best security?


1. Establish your security needs and budget

When deciding how to protect their properties, cannabis business owners and managers must consider all of the factors listed above, as well as any other variables that relate to their specific type of marijuana business – weed dispensaries and large cannabis farms do not have the same needs or challenges. 

In many circumstances, live video surveillance delivers the best return on investment while also providing the highest level of security. This is why, rather than hiring more security workers, many cannabis companies have begun to use live remote security services and install more CCTV cameras.

However, every organization is unique, and determining your security requirements and developing a budget are the first stages in determining what is best for you.

2. Research live remote security companies and ask questions

There are numerous remote security guard camera monitoring providers available. Indeed, here are the Top 10 Live Video Monitoring Companies in Canada. These companies each provide different choices, some of which may be more suited to the demands of your individual cannabis business. Reach out to a company’s sales representative, learn how they operate, explain your own security requirements, and collaborate with them to discover a solution that works for you; this is how you will get the perfect protection for your cannabis organization.

When dealing with a security provider, inquire whether they offer a cannabis security system design plan, which includes the location of cameras, loud-horn speakers, and other surveillance devices. You should also inquire about the type of site reports they provide, as well as whether they have a mobile application and web portal that allows clients to view live and recorded videos of their premises at any time. 

A competent security provider will collaborate with you to discover a solution that is effective, matches your specific requirements, and fits within your budget.

3. For the best cannabis security plan, adhere to the precise recommendations of your security provider.

It is critical that you follow the exact security instructions given by your security provider for maximum site protection. 

You might, for example, receive daily or weekly site audits showing problems and solutions related to your security devices. When the view of a camera is obstructed by dirt, you will be requested to clean the lens with a soft cloth. If a waving flag is causing false alarms, you will be requested to remove it or relocate it out of the camera’s field of view.

Please get in touch with us today to learn more about how you can protect your cannabis business and find the best option for you. We’ve been securing businesses in the cannabis field for years, so we’d be happy to talk to you and share what we’ve learned.


What is cannabis security clearance?

Cannabis security clearance is a process conducted by the Canadian government to assess if individuals involved in the legal sale of cannabis pose a risk to public health or safety, including the risk of diversion to the illicit market. This process may require multiple individuals involved in the business to apply, such as significant investors, officers, and directors.

How much is a CRA cannabis license?

In Canada, for cannabis cultivators and producers, a minimum security amount of $5,000 is required for a license. However, for those who package cannabis products, the maximum security amount is $5 million.

How long does it take to get a Health Canada security clearance?

The processing time for requests made to Health Canada depends on whether it is a simple or complex request. Simple requests take a minimum of 7 days, while complex requests take up to 120 days to process after receipt, not including reliability screening timelines.

Can you bring cannabis through airport security Canada?

Transporting cannabis across the Canadian border is illegal, regardless of whether you are entering or leaving the country or the laws of your destination. It is strongly advised not to attempt to transport cannabis across the border.

What can make you fail a security clearance in Canada?

There are several reasons that can result in a failure of a security clearance in Canada. These include: the applicant’s ineligibility to hold a security clearance, incomplete or unsigned forms, failure to respond to requests for additional information, failure to attend a scheduled security screening interview, and inability to complete the required background check. If any of these occur, the security screening request will be closed.

What is a remote security guard?

Remote guard services use strategically placed high-tech cameras to monitor properties 24/7. Trained staff monitor the camera footage live during non-business hours and respond immediately to any observed incidents.

What is the difference between a security system and a security guard?

Although remote video surveillance is useful, it only records occurrences as they happen and cannot respond to them in real time like an on-site security guard. When remote video surveillance is monitored by a security operator at the monitoring centre, however, incidents may be reacted to in real time, making it a cost-effective and dependable security option.


So there you go! We took a close look at two of the most widespread cannabis security services in the industry.

Even though both have their benefits, cannabis companies seem to be using remote video surveillance more and more due to its cost-effectiveness, reliability, quick response time to incidents, and other factors we’ve talked about.

We’d love to hear what you think about the subject.

Do you trust onsite security services or remote video surveillance to keep your marijuana business safe?

Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

Don't compromise on safety.

Sirix provides robust live remote monitoring to ensure your business and belongings are secure. Reach out now!


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