The 7 OLCC security camera regulations cannabis dispensary owners need to understand

The rules for Oregon cannabis dispensaries come from Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s Division 25, and is published here under Recreational Marijuana.  Full disclaimer: this is not legal advice, and these rules will continue to evolve. This is only an interpretation of the rules as published on as of March 15 2018.

The 4 primary sets of rules that pertain exclusively to security camera system are in sections:

  • §845-025-1430: Video Surveillance Equipment
  • §845-025-1440: Required Camera Coverage and Camera Placement
  • §845-025-1450: Video Recording Requirements for Licensed Facilities
  1. §845-025-1460: Location and Maintenance of Surveillance Equipment

There are 3 additional sections that touch upon your security camera system:

    1. §845-025-2840: Retailer Premises states that a retailer must post in a prominent place signs that read “Security Camera in Use”
    1. §845-025-1175: Changing, Altering, or Modifying Licensed Premises 6(c) states that Any physical change that would require the installation of additional video surveillance cameras or a change in the security system
  1. §845-025-1410 Security Requirements 4(b) Keep all video recordings and archived required records not stored electronically in a locked storage area. Current records may be kept in a locked cupboard or desk outside the locked storage area during hours when the licensed business is open

Below is a summary of each rule section and some advice from Angelcam:

  • 845-025-1430: Video Surveillance Equipment describes the equipment you must have on premises. It says you must have:
    • Cameras that can fulfill the requirements in §1450 (we’ll write more on that later)
    • DVR’s or NVR’s  
    • A video monitor on site capable of viewing recorded videos.
    • A printer on-site capable of producing still photos
    • The ability to produce still photos from any camera image
    • A failure notification system in case of interruption of the system.
    • Battery backup to support 1 hour of recording time if power goes out.
  • Except for mounted cameras, all surveillance equipment (NVR,DVR, Angelbox, etc) must be stored in a locked secure area that is accessible only to licensee, personnel or Commission employees/contractors.

A few notes on this rule and how Angelcam can help:

We recommend using IP cameras and an NVR instead of Analog/DVR systems. One benefit is that the cameras can be connected to the cloud on stand-alone basis if needed.  

The last rule applies to the surveillance room that will need to be monitored by another security camera, and that camera’s footage will need to be backed up to the cloud.  The idea here is that the OLCC will be able to know if the surveillance equipment or footage is tampered with, since a camera is monitoring the equipment area and that footage is recorded to the cloud in real-time. This is a common starting point for dispensaries to begin using a cloud video system with a mobile app like Angelcam.  

To enhance the granularity of the failure notification system, Angelcam’s system can provide you with an email notification if any specific camera is offline for more than 10 minutes.

  • 845-025-1440: Required Camera Coverage and Camera Placement talks about the areas the cameras need to surveil:
    • All points of ingress and egress, including within 15 feet inside and out
    • Consumer sales area
    • Surveillance room
  • “Limited access” areas

From the OLCC, “Limited access area” means a building, room, or other contiguous area on a licensed premises where a marijuana item is produced, processed, stored, weighed, packaged, labeled, or sold.

  • 845-025-1450: Video Recording Requirements for Licensed Facilities talks more about what needs to be recorded including the resolution and quality of video:
    • Record footage in any area with marijuana, plants, concentrates, extracts, etc. including areas of ingress/egress.
    • For “Limited Access” and “Consumer sales” areas, use 1280p footage at 10 frames per second.
    • In other areas that are not “Limited access”, 1280p with 5 frames per second works, unless coverage overlaps any limited access areas (including entrances). Then cameras must record at 10 fps;
    • Cameras must be able to record in all lighting conditions.
  • Keep surveillance recordings on-premises for a minimum of:
      • 90 days (if license granted after Aug 31 2016)
    • 30 days (if license granted before Aug 31 2016)
  • Back up the video surveillance recordings off-site and in real time for the surveillance room or surveillance area. Keep off-site backup recordings described in of this rule for a minimum of 30 days.

This is the rule that requires real-time backup of video stored off-site, and one of the most common reasons a cloud-based video service like Angelcam is used. The rule can be confusing since it states both “surveillance room or surveillance area”.  

It’s worth understanding the intention of this rule. OLCC representatives have stated the intention is to provide a mechanism to verify coverage in the event of a breach, stated or known, by requiring licensees to have a security system to provide evidence if what happened was a theft. Dispensary owners, the OLCC and law enforcement will be able to prevent breaches much more quickly and effectively with live streams of the security videos backed up to the cloud in real-time, since they cannot be tampered with.

In terms of the definition, practically speaking, each facility is different and more or less vulnerable to breach – this is where inspectors come in.  Typically inspectors will only require 30-day cloud storage for surveillance of this area, but we have seen cases where dispensary owners have said they required 90-day off-site storage.  

Currently, the only explicit 90-day storage requirement in the rule guide is for the video kept on-premises in your DVR/NVR.

Angelcam provides 30-day and 90-day cloud recording packages to allow owners to meet these requirements, and will preserve whatever footage and resolution comes from the camera.

  • 845-025-1460: Location and Maintenance of Surveillance Equipment describes the room where the surveillance equipment is stored.

It states that off-site storage must be secure and the recordings must be kept in a format approved by the Commission that can be easily accessed for viewing and easily reproduced.  Angelcam’s cloud-based video recording service makes it easy for dispensary owners to create, download or share mp4 video clips with authorities upon request. With our player-sharing feature, dispensary owners and operators can give their 3rd party security teams remote access and viewing.

See Angelcam solution here.