Chicago Cannabis Lab

Not just another security installation: Security Measures In The Cannabis Industry Are Intense

The lab was founded in 2014 and utilizes scientific advancement to optimize medical and recreational cannabis. They test and analyze all of their products in-house, allowing them to produce medical-grade cannabis on a massive scale.


The Cannabis industry is one of the most highly regulated in the state, and is vulnerable to theft externally as well as from within. The lab needed security measures put in place to pass regular monthly state audits and while making sure that all product is accounted for.

One security camera per room would not cut it, not even close. With multiple security cameras strategically placed throughout the room, it’s almost impossible to block out any view of the product. This means that employees are discouraged from even the thought of trying to pocket anything because there’s always an eye on them. 

Our client also needed several new and innovative features to stay ahead of the game. They needed not only traditional security capabilities but also cutting edge remote interactive control in order to keep their finger on the pulse of the operation from anywhere at any time. 

The use of Business Intelligence allowed the lab to be fully aware and informed about the people in their building, where they were at any given time during day or night (including when an incident occurred), what exact moment a business opened up and closed down: along with understanding why employees were doing certain things while at work. 

In order to provide security solutions to the cannabis industry, security companies need to be more than just knowledgeable in security systems. They also need to understand the State regulations and meet State requirements.  At Sentry, all our employees are State licensed, fingerprinted, must pass state police and FBI background checks as well as seven years’ criminal history clearance before they can work on security projects including State licensed cannabis dispensaries. 

With so many factors to consider, the lab chose a company with 25 years of experience and a great deal of knowledge within the cannabis industry and its regulations to handle their security needs. 


The lab chose Sentry Security for their rigorous security needs for their two Mt. Prospect and Schaumburg locations. 

Sentry laid out a 5-point plan that would ensure they met all of their security needs. This included video surveillance, access control and intrusion detection (all required by state law), as well as video intercoms and remote interactive control to improve security and business operations. 

The video surveillance system used for this application was from a video platform which requires certification and continuous education to install. Sentry went above-and beyond what’s required in order to make sure that eyes were on the product at all times by having multiple views including 360 degree cameras. 

The State of Illinois has strict requirements for access control and intrusion systems. Sentry chose DMP (Digital Monitoring Products) as the provider for both, while also providing the technical expertise from certified technicians that have gone through rigorous training and continuing education requirements with the manufacturer. 

Virtual Keypad by DMP is an invaluable tool for RL to keep their buildings secure. VK, as we call it,  gives authorized individuals the ability to arm and disarm, download and review reports and view real time activity of employees entering the building and certain spaces within the facility. This is very important to keep the integrity of the chain of custody intact and identify any individuals present should a product related issue come up. 

The final system solution was the Video Intercom from AIPhone at the employee and vendor entrance.  This was not required but highly recommended by Sentry. This allows employees to see and speak to the individuals behind the steel reinforced door before they ever consider opening it.  Not only is that being safe, but also being smart.


Sentry went above and beyond what was required for the lab, and due to the nature of the industry, still maintains a high frequency of touchpoints, including monthly inspections before state audits to make sure that everything is compliant with the IDFPR (Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation).

In this industry, the IDFPR can shutter any business that is not compliant with regulation. That means the customer needed a security provider with proven experience.  And a security partner they can count on that understands the importance of following the rules and regulations set by the State.   

Sentry Security’s Integrated Systems are a major investment for any cannabis provider, but it’s protection and access to real-time data has made the difference between success and failure. With state regulations in place as well an expensive product that needs utmost care at every step; these factors make sure the lab can depend on the Sentry Security team to provide them all tools they need to stay safe, secure and compliant.