Today is New Year’s Eve, and many Illinois residents have a big reason to celebrate in 2020.
In less than 24 hours, marijuana will be legal to purchase for recreational use. Residents and businesses are gearing up for the historic occasion.
Some Illinois dispensaries are planning to open as early as 6am; others have rented out coffee shops to keep customers warm and happy, and one store will be using a paging system to notify customers when to return to make purchases.
Chicago Sun Times Interactive Map on where to buy weed in Illinois:
There is, however, one lingering concern in the back of everyone’s mind: will the supply be able to satiate demand? Politicians and experts actually agree that the answer is a resounding, “NO”. Medical marijuana patients have inventory concerns, but priority has been given to patients over recreational customers. Stores must maintain a certain amount of product exclusively for medical patients.
The efficiency (or lack thereof) of this roll out could affect how and when marijuana is legalized in the surrounding areas. Kentucky is discussing medical marijuana next year, and Indiana has already begun decriminalization efforts to combat the flow of product in from Illinois & Michigan. Tomorrow is a historic day for the Midwest, and neighbors to Illinois will be watching carefully.
Leaders in the Illinois cannabis market depend on a holistic security plan that is designed to maintain compliance, meet regulatory standards, and optimize business operations. How are you handling Exhibit H & Exhibit J of your license application?
Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.
This is the first of two petitions submitted to the office of the secretary of state.
Per the initiated measure, this petition would legalize marijuana testing, manufacturing, and cultivation facilities, as well as marijuana dispensaries. These establishments would be required to submit applications and register with the Department.
If passed and made a new medical marijuana law in South Dakota, qualified medical patients would be allowed delivery, manufacture-and for State residents, cultivation-of marijuana and marijuana-based products to treat or alleviate debilitating medical conditions certified by the patients’ practitioners.
Marijuana Possession Decimalization?
Qualified medical patients (cardholders) would be allowed to have up to three (3) ounces of of marijuana and additional amounts of marijuana products.
These new laws, requirements and plans for the safe manufacture, and security of patients, caregivers and facilities may come to fruition in the near future.
According to a new story from High Times, Indiana is once again putting cannabis decriminalization on the floor for debate.
In years past, Karen Tallian, a state senator in Indiana, has filed legislation in favor of making cannabis plans that would bring Indiana to the forefront of decriminalization, and again on Monday, has done it once again.
If laws in Indiana for marijuana were to change, this would bring the total to over 20 states with some form of decriminalization for marijuana possession.
For those that are anticipating changes to Indiana cannabis laws and plans for security requirements to apply for any potential license application, the best advice is to be patient.
This holiday season, New Jersey lawmakers are discussing a different kind of ‘trees’. A measure to place marijuana on the 2020 ballot was passed yesterday (Monday, December 16, 2019). This ballot will give New Jersey constituents the choice in whether they want to allow marijuana available for adult legal purchase without a prescription.
New Jersey currently allows marijuana use for medicinal purposes. This past summer, the Governor signed an act into law expanding their current medical marijuana program. It would appear that New Jersey is paying attention, and making alterations where needed. Let’s hope when it comes time to draft regulations for the adult use market, they are still paying attention. Many states have been purposefully vague within their crafting of regulations. Future licensees can only hope that New Jersey will be more concise and direct within their instructions for operation of the adult-use market.
If an individual is contemplating entering the legal cannabis market in New Jersey, now would be a great time to start doing research on security plans, facility design and more.
At KL Security, we’ve completed medical marijuana security projects in New Jersey, and have a proven track record for compliance with state laws and security requirements. Utilizing the Total Harvest Coverage methodology for security plans as well as cannabis business operation improvements, we have successful projects in facilities in multiple states, helping leaders in the cannabis industry drive revenue and stay compliant with state laws.
The amount of marijuana researchers has increased by 40% in two years. With the dramatic increase in the number of approved researchers, comes a colossal increase in demand for researchable product. Until this past fall, the University of Mississippi was the only approved producer for medical marijuana for research purposes.
As the country moves toward legalization, the Drug Enforcement Administration recognizes the need for better quantity and quality of THC products for researchers. Americans want legal weed, but they want to know the scientific pros and cons as well. This also allows cannabis companies to fund research to better their products, just like pharmaceutical companies.
Marijuana is currently classified as a schedule I drug (at the federal level). These production facilities will be held to the same standards as other manufacturers of similarly scheduled products.
While individual states have created security requirements for compliance, cannabis is still subject to DEA rules and restrictions. Per the Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR 1301.72 As such, our vault rooms are rated per UL 608 Standards as follows:
UL Class 1 Vault(30 minutes torch and tool resistance)
UL Class 2 Vault(60 minutes torch and tool resistance)
UL Class 3 Vault(120 minutes torch and tool resistance)
When you’re ready to begin the process of security planning for your cannabis business operation, the consultants at KL Security are available to assist with facility security plans, security equipment, ArmorStor Compliant vaults and more. Well versed in government regulations and recent legal mandates, we are prepared to help your business plan and pass requirements for Cannabis facility design and security programming.
On Monday, December 16, 2019, Senator Karen Tallian filed a marijuana reform package for the upcoming 2020 legislative session. This package addresses state wide decriminalization, hemp regulation reform, and calls for the establishment of a Cannabis regulatory department. Senator Tallian calls Indiana’s hemp laws ‘outdated and confusing’ as well as ‘a mess’. There will be opposition; Indiana is a conservative state. Governor Eric Holcomb, Republican, has said he will not support legalization while marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. (5)
Will there be more than corn in Indiana? The majority of residents hope so.
Roughly 80% of Hoosiers favor legalizing marijuana at some capacity (medicinal or recreation cannabis). (1)
The legalization of marijuana in neighboring states may have had an influence in this matter. Indiana borders Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. Three out of four of these states (Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio) currently have legislature on the books allowing constituents to use Cannabis in one form or another without fear of criminal consequences. Kentucky is slated to vote on the issue of medical marijuana legalization in early 2020, so this may soon change. (2)
If Kentucky legalizes marijuana for medicinal use, Indiana will be completely surrounded by weed. It would be incredibly naïve to believe that visitors from neighboring states will not be bringing it with them when they cross state lines.
Would that be legal? No.
If these visitors were intercepted by law enforcement and prosecuted, would that add to Indiana’s overburdened criminal justice system? Yes.
Some communities and officials are choosing to adapt with the times, and reallocate their resources. It is being recognized that pursuing these low level/nonviolent charges, may not be the wisest choice on how to spend taxpayer’s dollars. Perhaps police officers and court officials could be more influential to the overall safety of a community if they were able to spend more time catching violent offenders.
“Mears announced Monday that his office will no longer prosecute certain marijuana possession offenses in Marion County. If a person possesses less than one ounce of marijuana, that person will not face formal charges from the prosecutor’s office, effective immediately. The policy is aimed at diverting resources to violent crimes, such as murder and sexual assault.” (3)
It now appears that Lake County officials may follow Marion County’s lead. This week, County officials discussed the option to modify marijuana possession from a criminal to a civil infraction. Under the new ordinance, individuals caught with small amounts of marijuana would be issued a ticket and ordered to pay a fine instead of going to jail.
“The Lake County Council has preliminarily endorsed an ordinance establishing a civil fine for marijuana possession, instead of requiring people caught with pot to go to jail. The change is being spurred by the forthcoming legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois and Michigan.” (4)
These baby steps are a big deal to Hoosiers. This shows constituents that politicians are listening, and making the first moves toward legalization. Given these recent developments, how long will it be until Indiana changes laws and plans for legalization of marijuana? Time will tell.
Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed, and is subject to change without notice.
Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed, and is subject to change without notice.
In big new for the state of Indiana, Lake County, whose borders are near Michigan and Illinois, where cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use, has proposed to relax penalties for marijuana possession.
The Office of Marijuana Policy has begun to publish forms online for marijuana facilities catering to recreational customers. The Marijuana Legalization Act was passed in 2016 by voters, and constituents could be able to purchase marijuana without a doctor’s approval as early as Spring of 2020. Title 28-B, the Marijuana Legalization Act, outlines the provisions for the Adult-Use program in Maine, as well as the licensing protocols and procedure.
One such provision gives municipalities the authorization to approve or deny operation of marijuana facilities within its borders. These municipalities also have the power to demand additional licensing fees that may exceed those required by the state. Some municipalities go so far as to require approval before submitting an application to the state licensing body. It is of the utmost importance to check local rules upon beginning the planning/application stages of starting a marijuana facility.
Security requirements vary from state to state. Some states’ rules are very clear and concise in referencing the safe storage or cannabis products, and others are not; Maine is not. Within medicinal facilities, the state rules require physical safety parameters that ‘deter theft and ensure safety’, Code ME R. 18-691-2.
Initial estimates by industry experts predict the recreational market in Maine could top $150 million in its first year of operation (1).
Cannabis dispensaries seeking to simplify compliance reference the Total Harvest Coverage plan for security planning & architectural programming including
Limited Access Areas
Storage Vaults & Vault Rooms
Whether you are seeking to maintain regulatory requirements and trace-ability / reporting at the minimum or maximum level, consulting with an experience integrator who has experience with applications, licenses, design, plans and build outs is key to business success.
The recreational market began legally in Ann Arbor, Michigan on December 1, 2019. As of right now, this is the only city with any licensed recreational stores in the state.
At 10:00am, licensees were able to transfer product from medical inventory to recreational inventory for sale. The transferable product must be within a licensee’s inventory for a minimum of 30 days and may not exceed 50% of total product type available. The thinking is that this will help move product that medicinal patients have elected not to purchase, and the amount limitation will preserve product for medicinal patients over recreational consumers (1). This consideration is important, but foresight was definitely lacking within the licensing process. Especially since industry members have been expressing concerns over product shortages for months (2).
Marijuana regulatory agencies (nationwide) have failed to tap experts’ knowledge and assistance when formulating guidelines or planning processes. Anyone with a basic knowledge of economics could explain that product is required to supply demand. Within Michigan’s licensing process, they failed to license growers prior to retailers. It takes roughly four months for marijuana to be ready from seed to sale. Licensees were processed and approved on a first-come first-served basis for all types (2).
Any burgeoning industry will experience growing pains as they initiate implementation, but the recreational market in Michigan is not expected to be functioning at full capacity for at least another calendar year. This shortage of product in Michigan has driven the price of marijuana to roughly $4,000 per pound, four times the price as Colorado (2).
This is an historic occasion for the normalization and legalization of marijuana. Michigan is the first in the Midwest to legalize marijuana for recreational use, and will be a litmus test for neighboring states such as Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa and others as to how they frame their regulations in the future.
(1) Adult-Use Marijuana Transfer Window Opens Sunday in Michigan https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-89334_79571_79784-513379–,00.html
(2) Beggin, Riley. “Why easy access to recreational marijuana is taking so long in Michigan.” Bridge Magazine. November 25, 2019. https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/why-easy-access-recreational-marijuana-taking-so-long-michigan
Legal Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma takes due diligence and planning for success
The state of Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana in August of 2018, they offer a series of licenses for cannabis businesses to support the growing, processing and retail sale of marijuana. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority is the governing body in OK and the definitive source for rules, compliance regulations, laws and protocols for diversion and reporting .
Licensees fall into three (3) very clear and concise categories for medical marijuana as follows:
Commercial Grow & Growers Operation License – commercial growers that are licensed in Oklahoma have the ability to legally seller cannabis to licensed retailer dispensaries and licensed packagers (think processors of cannabis). From a business operations standpoint, this is a wholesale exchange and does not include taxation per Oklahoma state laws. It’s important to note that licensed commercial growers may not sell cannabis directly to a medical marijuana license holder. Those businesses that are licensed commercial grow operations (indoor cultivation) are only allowed to legally sell marijuana at the wholesale level to a licensed retail dispensary and licensed marijuana processor facilities. The design of these transactions is vital to compliance and regulation of security requirements, reporting, tracking and inventory management rules.
Medical Marijuana Processing License – a cannabis processor in Oklahoma that is licensed has the ability to take cannabis marijuana plants from the commercial grower and process said plants as concentrates, shatter, dabs, edibles, tinctures, terpenes, and other forms for consumption. Any licensed processor in Oklahoma may sell marijuana products it creates to the licensed retail dispensary and/or other licensed processors. Licensed processors may also process cannabis plants, into a concentrated form, for a medical license holder, for a fee.
Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Dispensary – those that apply for an have received a medical marijuana retailer license can conduct retail sale of marijuana, or cannabis derived products (oils, tinctures, salves, terpines, etc) provided by licensed processors. It is important to note that cannabis products can only be sold to license holders.
Business Plans & Security Planning
In order for any business to be successful, it requires thorough planning and business strategy to be in place from the onset. Cannabis compliance and standard operating procedures are the foundation for maintaining cannabis facility design standards in Oklahoma and the keys to long term success. Below are key components that you may need a consultant to complete and advise upon:
Thorough and Comprehensive Business Plans
Legal & Documented License Applications
Security Plans & Compliance
Business Operations & Protocols for Compliance
Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
Integrated security planning and programming go hand-in-hand with the architectural plans and floor plan layouts to ensure total harvest coverage from seed-to-sale. Security cameras and video surveillance, along with alarm systems and monitoring are a vital part of success in the cannabis sector. For more information on marijuana facility planning and security standards for design, call 866.867.0306
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