When it comes to cannabis security the opportunities for security integrators — not to mention the puns — are plentiful. But cannabis security is not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of things to understand about this very unique industry and the ways it needs to work in order to stay on the right side of the law. For example, it is a cash business. Cannabis businesses can’t use the traditional banking system because it isn’t legal federally yet. What may be even more interesting to the security integration community, however, is that that cannabis growers and dispensers also usually can’t get a license to operate in states where it is legal without having a detailed security plan in advance.

“Cannabis represents one of the biggest opportunities for the security industry that we’ve had in years,” says Allan Smith, SightLogix, in this month’s cover story. “Much of the opportunity comes from the ‘seed to sale’ approach employed by many cannabis firms, with multiple facilities under one company umbrella; so once you have established yourself as a trusted expert, you can really go wide with comprehensive solutions across multiple divisions.”

Associate Editor Amanda Reed explains the ins and outs of the cannabis security industry, its challenges, and why, for the right security integrator, it is a good vertical to consider right now.

“With chance to apply access control technology, video surveillance, perimeter security, analytics and more, the cannabis vertical allows integrators to increase their green by getting into a booming industry that’s set to continue to grow in the future,” she writes.

For those who aren’t interested in the cannabis vertical, there are plenty of other opportunities discussed in this issue.

Cloud-based access control was given a popularity boost by the pandemic and is more in demand than before.

“With COVID-19, a lot of organizations saw that working from home and trying to monitor a system from a different premises was a lot harder,” says Genetec’s Despina Stamatelos. “That’s resulted in an increase in interest from end users in cloud-based solutions.” Read more about this key opportunity in the article,  “Pandemic Spurs Demand in Cloud-Based Door Access Control.”

Former SDM editor and current contributing writer, Laura Stepanek, also looks at whether the promise of thermal cameras has delivered in “The Wide Appeal of Thermal Cameras.”, finding that while the demand for temperature sensing has gone down as the pandemic has worn on, the corresponding increase in technology advancement and developments have renewed interest in thermal cameras in a myriad of ways.

“The frenzy of last year’s rush to implement thermal EST cameras had an unexpected result — it bolstered the interest level in thermal technology overall,” she writes. “The security industry is now seeing demand grow for installing thermal cameras in many different settings, both security and non-security.”

We are living in strange times and more than ever the ways that the security industry is called upon to help are changing in sometimes unexpected ways. What opportunities are you finding for your business?