Securing your outdoor grow – secrecy in CA will be replaced by security

Jay Lauren

Practical Tips & Advice on Securing your outdoor grow:

Our industry’s age-old ways of being stealthy, and hiding where we grow/produce, will need to adapt: the state of CA has no intention of keeping marijuana business locations secret. This will be a challenge, culturally, since we’ve come from a past where rule #1 was to never tell anybody where you farm/produce.

Most vulnerable of all business types are outdoor marijuana growers, who’ve used many methods to protect their crops from prying eyes and intruders, including “cover plants” and trees that conceal crops, aggressive dogs, and even booby-traps. Properly securing your outdoor grow takes more than this.

marijuana security

Here’s some practical advice from professionals and marijuana growers on securing your outdoor grow:

Fencing. Property-line fencing: a standard chain link fence equipped with privacy screens and razor wire spirals is a solid option for marijuana growers – both cheap and readily available. (REMINDER: all marijuana growers need to check local regulations for fencing height on property line.) Some growers apply durable grease on the barbed wire, which makes it harder to penetrate. Second fencing: electrified horse fencing (using solar power) is sometimes used, which is not lethal but will act as a deterrent. Second fencing also helps keep wild animals and deer away. Garden fencing is also advised, which is a ton of work, but it’s almost impossible for a perpetrator to get through 3 sets of fencing/enclosures undetected.

Single access/entry point. It’s important to note this about your entry point: your gate is only as secure as your lock.

Two sets of video cameras make it harder to take down surveillance systems. Use long-life batteries. Periodically check video to see who has been driving by your property.

Motion detecting lighting. If a garden is too far to run electrical, motion lights that run on solar power are available. These are not usually as bright but may still scare someone off.

Wireless motion sensors around a perimeter of a garden can trigger an alarm in a control unit up to a few hundred feet away. Motion sensors run off 9-volt batteries. If the garden has no access to power, the control unit can be rigged to run off a car battery.

A motion detector that sets off a loud noise can work as a great deterrent, but make sure to set the alarms up in a way so they won’t be going off for every squirrel, bird, or raccoon that walks past. There are also systems that can text or email you anytime they detect motion.

Many marijuana growers rely on “man’s best friend” as an alert system, but owners need to keep in mind the costs of this: dogs are expensive. Purchase/first year costs are estimated at $1200 and annual upkeep costs for dogs are over $600 per year. Owners should also expect anywhere between $2000-$4000 in vet bills over the lifetime of dog ownership. Using Fido as an alert system is a $15,000 investment. (READ HERE.)

Don’t hide your security system, and include visible warning signs. Signs alone are not a deterrent: an actual criminal is not going to be deterred by a sign if you do not have visible cameras.

Last, it takes a team. Get some of your team to take shifts, both on and around your property. Keep an open line of communication with fellow growers – keep an ear to the ground!

Join us on Tuesday, April 10th, from 7pm to 10pm, in downtown Los Angeles, for insight, best practices, and guidance on making the RIGHT decisions in securing (and insuring) your most important asset: YOUR BUSINESS. Register here: