Medical Cannabis Requires New Security Thinking

Revolution Cannabis

Integrated S2 Security system addresses state regulatory requirements


Amidst farmland in central Illinois, twin cultivation centers serve the needs of the state’s medical cannabis patients. Revolution Cannabis has over 150,000 square feet of immaculate laboratory and cultivation space between the two facilities, making it possible to produce over 20,000 pounds of medical cannabis per year.

When Revolution Cannabis received licenses to operate its cultivation centers in 2015, the company faced strict, state-mandated requirements for its new facilities and security system. By law, Revolution Cannabis had to construct highly secure facilities with controlled access, secure storage and camera coverage of every square foot of interior space, with the exception of bathrooms and locker rooms. The state also required the ability for officials to log in to the security system remotely at any time. In addition to securing the facilities, Revolution Cannabis wanted to carefully monitor the environment within its cultivation rooms.



The systems integrator for this complex project started the process by reviewing Revolution Cannabis’ security plan. “We designed an integrated security system that revolved around S2 access control and event monitoring, and tailored the S2 system to meet the state’s requirements,” says Chris Sorensen, President, Midwest Security Systems.

At Revolution Cannabis, tightly controlled access to each cultivation center starts at the exterior gate, incorporating video intercom and access control. Pre-scheduled visitors enter a mantrap, show their ID to the 24x7 security officer, and gain admittance to the building only if escorted. Employees go through the gate and second door with their access cards.

Role-based access to separate areas within each building – front office, cultivation, extraction, formulation, packaging and storage – keeps employees where they should be using single factor, 2-factor or 3-factor authentication on a total of 300 readers, which also function as panic buttons. “The S2 system allows us to utilize a 3-factor authentication system for our storage vaults, including a bio reader, prox reader and PIN,” explains Tim Sutton, Corporate Director of Safety and Security, Revolution Cannabis. “A camera outside each vault captures a full image of anyone entering or exiting, and four cameras on the interior provide a view of the entire room to detect theft or loss.”

To consistently produce the highest quality products, Revolution Cannabis has multiple environmental controls in place including humidity, temperature and lighting. Each of these controls generates events in the S2 system. When lights turn on or off in the cultivation rooms every 12 hours, cameras tightly focused on each light produce motion events through the video integration. Security staff must acknowledge the events, which are also incorporated into audit reports.



The S2 system allows Revolution Cannabis to identify problems quickly within the unified interface as well as generate audit reports based on access control, video, intrusion alarms and environmental controls. The company’s security policies complement tightly controlled access to buildings and specific areas. Revolution Cannabis not only has met regulatory requirements but also has prevented any incidents from occurring.

Our philosophy is to leave nothing to chance,” observes Sutton. “The S2 access control system allows us to do more than the regulatory requirements will ever be.