Marijuana Facility Security: How Much is Good Enough?

By Shelley Swearingen | July 14, 2020

Why is security so important?

Security protocols dictate how an organization plans to protect their employees. Security protocols set forth how a business will protect their bottom line. Cannabis security planning protocols establish how a facility will safeguard & protect inventory and cash. All of these plans and protocols affect the bottom line, and therefore should be on the forefront of every stakeholder’s mind.

A good security plan should:
Why do security guidelines vary from state to state?

            Cannabis is illegal at the federal level. In recent history, the federal government has stayed out of the way of states and allowed states to govern these sectors independently. This means that when marijuana is legalized within a state, the state government must create an entire market and all the rules and regulations that go along with it. Some states will look to other places that have implemented successful programs, and some just wing it.

            Some states have very little regulatory requirements when it comes to the operation of businesses, and certain areas of concern that are normally heavily regulated in other industries (like security) are barely glossed over in the legislation. This is due to the illegal status of the substance at the federal level. Many states anticipate marijuana becoming legal nationwide at some point. When this happens, no action would be needed as federal law supersedes state law.

Why is compliance so important?

            Staying compliant means staying operational. Facilities operating within a legal marijuana market are subject to random inspections. If a facility didn’t pass an inspection, it could be slapped with a hefty fine and/or forced to close until the infraction is brought up to standard. This means lost sales on top of expensive fines & the facility could take a hit to their reputation. Remember: a facility will never be fined for being too safe. It may seem daunting to spend (invest) a large sum into securing a facility, but down the road – it makes fiscal sense.

What implementations should a facility employ?

            From license application and project inception to completion, KL Security uses a holistic approach to help plan, create, design, and build compliant security solutions & systems to meet a business’s goals, brand, and mission. With successful projects in place in dispensaries, pharmacies, cultivation facilities, craft growing facilities, secure transporters, and testing facilities, the experts at KL Security have the experience to help facilities pass inspections, stay compliant, and drive revenue. Contact a consultant to see how KL Security can help simplify the process and provide successful results.

Call 866-867-0306 or email contact@klsecurity.com

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

Cannabis Facility Security | Protection Against Looters

By Shelley Swearingen | June 4, 2020

The United States is embroiled in civil unrest. “There have been demonstrations in at least 430 cities and towns so far, large and small, across all 50 states.1

These demonstrations are in response to the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement. American citizens of all races, ethnicities, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, and ages have gathered to voice their disdain on the excessive use of force by law enforcement. The majority of these protests have culminated & concluded peacefully, but looting has occurred in several US cities.

There are many different theories as to why people loot2, but from a business owner’s standpoint – the ‘why’ is not concerning as ‘if’. In America, civil unrest wasn’t a recent concern when developing security standards for procedure, just as pandemic protocols weren’t included a few months ago either. For those businesses operating in densely populated areas, this will be something to consider going forward. This is especially true for cannabis dispensaries, pharmacies, secure transporters, cultivators, craft growers, testing facilities, and large-scale growers.

In states where cannabis is legal and where looting has occurred, marijuana dispensaries and pharmacies were targeted. Luckily, those businesses that worked with KL Security found their products and profits unscathed. This is a clear example of when investing in physical security pays off.

Successful Security Measures

These businesses were able to successfully protect product and cash due to the installation of vaults & vault doors. Class 5-V vault doors protect contents against unauthorized entry, covert entry, and forced entry. Even though breaching one of these doors is nearly impossible, it is recommended the highest value product (cash) is stored inside a UL TL-15 rated safe placed inside the vault room. 

A representative of a Cannabis company effected by looting reached out to KL Security on the morning of June 4th. This representative oversees multiple locations in one of America’s fastest growing cannabis markets; he was able to witness the capabilities of vault doors & vault rooms firsthand. Stakeholders were ecstatic to have taken the appropriate measures ahead of time and can rest easy knowing their highly profitable product is safe and sound. In exemplifying their satisfaction, this company expressed intent to acquire more vault doors.

Where Security Plans Fall Short

Some States are allowing waivers to allow cannabis dispensaries to store product on the sales floor, in lightly secured undercounter cabinets.  We cannot stress enough, given the stories we have heard recently, that this is not a sound storage method when defending against smash-and-grab attacks.

Whether or not you agree with the protests, all business owners can agree on the importance of protecting their investment. KL Security is here to assist in the security needs of Cannabis craft growers, secure transporters, testing facilities, dispensaries, pharmacies, and commercial growers. We can help review current standards of procedures to identify areas for improvement that will expand peace of mind and drive revenue. To discuss additional security implementations or compliance at your facility, please reach out. 

TOLL FREE 1-866-867-0306 or contact@klsecurity.com

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

  1. Haseman, Janie; Zaiets, Karina; & Thorson, Mitchell. June 4, 2020. Tracking protests across the USA in the wake of George Floyd’s death. USA Today. Retrieved from: https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/graphics/2020/06/03/map-protests-wake-george-floyds-death/5310149002/
  2. Khazan, Olga. June 2, 2020. Why people loot. The Atlantic. Retrieved from: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/06/why-people-loot/612577/
  3. https://www.gsa.gov/cdnstatic/Door__Vault__Security.PDF

Illinois Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Licenses

By Shelley Swearingen – May 1, 2020

Today would have been the deadline for Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to issue additional licenses. There are 75 Conditional Adult Use Cannabis Dispensing Licenses up for grabs. The Governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker, signed an executive order suspending the issuance of new licenses.

On March 9, 2020, the entire state of Illinois was declared a disaster area. In an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus and corresponding disease, the state of Illinois has instituted several safeguards. Social distancing is being practiced, and I would imagine all government employees with the ability to work remotely are doing so. These licenses must be reviewed by a panel, and on can safely assume the extension for issuances of licenses has been pushed back due to communication limitations and the necessity of more pressing issues.

Furthermore, the Governor authorized a variance to Illinois Administrative Code allowing Medical Cannabis Dispensaries to dispense medical cannabis outside of the limited access area. This permits dispensary agents to offer curbside and limited-contact service. In order to partake in this exception, the dispensary must have a written procedure on how to operate safely and ensure that they are only dispensing to approved patients.

Here at KL Security: we’ve assisted several of these applicants on addressing security needs, and we’re waiting on pins and needles for the announcement of license winners along with these applicants. As of now, a new date has not been determined by the State of Illinois.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the world does business. It may have brought to light many standards of procedures that are outdated and require attention. The experts at KL Security are dedicated to staying educated on new and innovative ways to safeguard your business. We’re here to help cannabis dispensaries, cultivators, transporters, testing facilities, pharmacies, and craft growers to develop and implement security procedures to drive revenue & stay compliant. To start a conversation on how we can improve your safety compliance while staying true to your brand, call or email us.

(866) 867 – 0306 OR contact@klsecurity.com

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

https://www.idfpr.com/News/2020/Cannabis%20EO%20Dispensary%20license%20deadline.pdf

https://www.idfpr.com/Forms/COVID19/Medical%20Cannabis%20Restricted%20Area%20Dispensing%20April%202020.pdf

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gov/Documents/APPROVED%20-%20Coronavirus%20Disaster%20Proc%20WORD.pdf

https://www.idfpr.com/ILCannabis.asp

Medical Marijuana Licensing in Ohio

By Shelley Swearingen — March 20, 2020

In Ohio, marijuana is legal for approved patients as medicinal use. A patient must first visit a physician that holds an active Certificate to Recommend from the State Medical Board of Ohio. A list of qualifying physicians is available on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program’s website.

After a patient has been recommended for the program by a physician, he/she will receive an email to log in to the patient registry. The patient will login, complete the application, and pay the fee assigned annually: $50 for patients and $25 for caregivers. Fee reductions are available for patients that qualify.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) is regulated by the Ohio Department of Pharmacy. There are four licenses available for Cannabis businesses to obtain: Cultivator (Level I & Level II), Processor, Testing Laboratory, and Dispensary.

The OMMCP maintains a very helpful website with many resources for hopeful licensees. There are links to state legislation, downloadable applications, submitted applications of approved licensees, etc. The following is an excerpt from a dispensary application:

The application for each type of license is very in-depth and requires supporting documents for nearly every facet. KL Security has experience in developing security & surveillance plans for Cannabis companies applying for Ohio licensure.

KL Security has certified our solutions in numerous Medicinal Marijuana locations in Ohio. The facilities we developed security plans for were successful in acquiring a license. 


Armorstor MJ1212 Medical Cannabis Modular Vault Package Coupled with our built-to GSA Class 5 Vault Doors, our MJ1212 vault package is a complete solution designed to meet and exceed the regulations set forth in section 1301.72 of the Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations pursuant to DEA Diversion Control for the storage of Schedule I Narcotics. Our 4” thick high-density Class 1 Modular Vault Panels are equivalent to 12″ poured concrete with 3 layers of re-bar per ASTM specifications. Tested and approved under the UL 608 Vault Specification, these panels carry a 30 man-minute Forced Entry Rating.  GSA Approved Class 5 Vault Doors are used by the US Government and Military to store everything from Classified Information, Weapons, Narcotics as well as cash and valuables. GSA allows us to offer these same doors to the private sector, as long as we do not include the GSA Approved label. The DEA specifically calls out for a Group 1R Lock, which affords the Radiological protection requirements you will find in the Code of Regulations.  

TOLL FREE 1-866-867-0306 — OR — contact@klsecurity.com

DEA Rules, security requirements and regulations per the Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR1301.72

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice. All license information and security measures taken directly from legislation: Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Law (HB 523)

Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program website found here.

Oklahoma Medicinal Marijuana Facility Regulations

The Medicinal Marijuana industry is booming in Oklahoma. The state has issued more than 6,500 business licenses1. This is due to the barriers to entry for cannabis entrepreneurs being much lower compared to other states. One common barrier to entry for any entrepreneur is the initial cost of security implementation.

Oklahoman legislators were vague in their description for physical security requirements:

This may seem preferable to a business owner, but the opposite may be true. Without guidance in regards to security implementation, a business may face unexpected costs down the line:

  1. If the regulatory agency (Oklahoma Medicinal Marijuana Authority, in this case) does not approve a proposed security plan within an application, the applicant will need to revise and supplement the plan.  This will affect deadlines and possible construction timelines.
  2. When cannabis is eventually legalized at the federal level, stricter regulations will be established. A business would incur profit losses from closure to modify the building to meet these standards as well as the cost of the security products themselves.
  3. In the worst-case scenario, criminals have assailed your business. They were able to obtain product, cash, and in the process have seriously injured your employees and/or customers. Not only did you accumulate loss immediately due to the stolen product and money, but there are additional costs:
    • Lost income from closing business for repairs/investigation
    • Fines imposed (if state-mandated guidelines were not employed)
    • Implementation of additional safeguards to prevent reoccurrence
    • Civil lawsuits incurred due to the injury of employees & customers

How’s the health & well-being of your operational protocols to deter diversion?

At KL Security, we 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.

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

Legal information obtained from: http://omma.ok.gov/

  1. Dishman, David. (2019, August 11). Oklahoma’s young marijuana industry’s growth exceeds expectations. The Oklahoman. Retrieved from: https://oklahoman.com/article/5638256/oklahomas-young-marijuana-industrys-growth-exceeds-expectations

Marijuana Retail Dispensaries and Security

Marijuana dispensaries (both medicinal and recreational) are targets for criminals. Since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, the majority of banking institutions refuse association. This requires the industry operates primarily in cash. Not to mention, the product of sale is highly profitable on the black market.  These factors paint dispensaries as the holy grail to larcenists.

“In separate incidents on July 19, 2017, a security guard was killed and three other men were wounded at a South Los Angeles dispensary, where a guard was shot to death last year in a robbery. In a Colorado killing, a $55,000 reward is offered for the killers of a Marine veteran shot in the head twice at a dispensary.” 1

Most states have stringent guidelines regarding the safe storage of data, cannabis products, and cash. These guidelines are not as detailed regarding the protection of human life. In any situation, the loss of life is the costliest. A business would be vulnerable to civil litigation from the injured employee or surviving relatives, should the unthinkable occur. The cost of litigation and settlements would far exceed the initial implementation of security systems.

Hamilton’s Entrance System Vestibule provides a tough first line of defense in preventing firearms from entering your building. The unit incorporates key features such as metal detection, motion sensors, and door locking controls with warning alerts to help prevent takeover robberies.

A key element in the design and construction of a dispensary is the visual aesthetic. Safety shouldn’t have to be compromised to meet design goals.

“Silver-framed bullet-resistant glass partitions—required by local ordinances—separate functional areas but keep the space feeling open and visually accessible.  Flexible merchandising fixtures utilize the vertical space for product displays and provide a more comfortable shopping experience.” – High Road Studio https://highroadstudio.com/portfolio/retail-interior-design/the-healing-center/
Bulletproof technology has evolved to meet the needs of today’s retail world. Now, fiberglass panels may be inserted behind drywall or paneling to protect both people and products in storage rooms. This allows designers more freedom in their concepts and allows for budtenders to complete secure transactions.

Wouldn’t it be wiser to deter criminals from considering your business as a target? By utilizing the consulting of security experts and installing top-rated products, thieves are less likely to consider your business as an easy ‘mark’.

The partnership of KL Security with Total Security Solutions means that cannabis entrepreneurs can meet all municipal guidelines to pass inspection successfully. The cumulative knowledge of both teams is at your disposal to assist in the formulation of a bulletproof (pun intended) security plan.

TOLL FREE 1-866-867-0306

contact@klsecurity.com

DEA Rules, security requirements and regulations per the Code of Federal Regulations

1. Rahmanni, Neama. (2017). ‘Get real about security at marijuana dispensaries’. Orange County Register. December 28. Retrieved from: https://www.ocregister.com/2017/12/27/get-real-about-security-at-marijuana-dispensaries/ Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

THC & Tennessee: Legislators Working to Legalize Marijuana

UPDATE:

March 10, 2020

A bill was introduced to the Tennessee House of Representatives proposing the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use. The measure, House Bill 637, was introduced by Representatives Ron Travis & Jason Hodges.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act (House Bill 637) provides framework for establishing regulatory organizations, basic rules, approved conditions, and tax allocation.

You can read the bill in its entirety here.

January 28, 2020

Several politicians in Tennessee are diligently trying to bring the green market to the Smokey Mountains. A bill was drafted last year, but at the 11th hour decidedly not introduced. The authors felt the bill lacked support, and deemed more conversation was needed with various state agencies and departments to garner backing before bringing to the floor.

 

Earlier this month, medical marijuana supporters pleaded with law enforcement to support the law should it be brought forth. Police are struggling to reconcile federal law with hypothetical state law. Marijuana is still scheduled within the same class as Heroin federally, and possession over a ½ ounce in Tennessee is a felony3.

 

Yesterday, State Senator Raumesh Akbari filed a bill to legalize the sale of marijuana to all citizens over the age of 21. Historically, states will legalize marijuana for medicinal use first. This jumps this initial step and goes directly to the complete decriminalization and legal sale. Senator Akbari’s bill is exuberant and enthusiastic given the climate in Tennessee. Perhaps he’s hoping this bill will be the harbinger for change; even if it’s minimal compared to his current requests.

 

“Tennessee’s tough-on-crime possession laws have trapped too many of our citizens in cycles of poverty, and they haven’t actually stopped anyone from obtaining marijuana,” Akbari said, as quoted by the Memphis Flyer. “The enforcement of these laws in particular [has] cost our state billions, contributed to a black market that funds criminal organizations and accelerated the growth of incarceration in Tennessee’s jails and prisons. Tennesseans deserve better.” – Senator Raumesh Akbari, High Times Magazine 1

 

Senators Steve Dickerson and Janice Bowling are both vocal in their support for medical marijuana and have expressed intentions to introduce legislature in 2020. They will face obstruction from Governor Bill Lee; he opposes the legalization of marijuana for medical use.

 

The winds of change are sweeping the nation. Will Tennessee be among the next batch of states to enter the green rush? We shall soon see.

 

At KL Security, we have a proven track record for helping cannabis growers, processors, transportation and retail dispensaries with security planning and operational protocols to meet compliance with state laws and security requirements. Utilizing the Total Harvest Coverage methodology for cannabis facility security plans as well as cannabis business operation improvements, we have successful projects in facilities in multiple states, including the Midwest,  helping leading cannabis businesses and CRB meet state requirements for compliance in the ever changing world of cannabis legalization and decriminalization.

 

 

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

 

  1. Edward, Thomas. January 27, 2020. Tennessee Senator Files Bill to Allow Sale and Taxation of Marijuana. High Times Magazine. Retrieved from: https://hightimes.com/news/tennessee-senator-files-bill-to-allow-sale-and-taxation-of-marijuana/
  2. Kelman, Brett. January 9, 2020. Medical marijuana advocates urge Tennessee police not to oppose new legislation. The Nashville Tennessean. Retrieved from: https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2020/01/09/medical-marijuana-tennessee-advocates-new-bill/2835015001/
  3. norml.com

 

 

Marijuana in 2020: A Nation-Wide Summary of Legalization, Decriminalization & Security

State by state summary of cannabis laws, decriminalization and the sales and security of cash and marijuana products.

 

At KL Security, we have a proven track record for compliance with state laws and security requirements. Utilizing the Total Harvest Coverage methodology for cannabis facility security design and planning 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 and the security requirements for cannabis facilities and dispensaries.

 

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

Cannabis Policies for the New Decade

The Committee on Energy & Commerce will hold a legislative hearing tomorrow to discuss and review six pieces of legislation:

H.R. 171, the “Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marijuana Act” – Proposes Marijuana moves from a Schedule I drug to Schedule II and the federal government may not intervene in a state’s medical marijuana laws.

 

H.R. 601, the “Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2019” – Proposes the Attorney General increase the amount of federally approved registered cannabis manufacturers for research purposes. (the DEA has already begun accepting applications).

 

H.R. 1151, the “Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act” – Proposes veterans receive special protections to use, possess, or transport medical marijuana legally; also allows physicians to discuss and recommend marijuana therapies to veterans.

 

H.R. 2843, the “Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act” – Proposes the removal of THC/marijuana from Schedule I drugs. Demands comprehensive research on marijuana, and regulation from Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau on the sale and advertising of marijuana.

 

H.R. 3797, the “Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2019” – Proposes Health and Human Services ensures a supply of marijuana for research purposes. Furthermore, all currently approved researchers for Schedule II – V drugs would be given authorization to conduct marijuana research.

 

H.R. 3884, the “Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019” or the “MORE Act of 2019” – Demands marijuana/THC be removed entirely from the list of Scheduled drugs. This bill calls for expungements, and the establishment of various regulatory departments and social equity programs.

 

The MORE Act is sounds like an extravagant bit of legislation. Is America ready for full legalization and decriminalization of marijuana? This would cause mass confusion in states where marijuana is already legal. These states would have to review (and possibly revise) current legislation pertaining to marijuana and quickly. States will need time to re-organize regulatory departments, and possibly implement new guidelines. Perhaps legislators are reaching for the stars and hoping to land on the moon.

Interestingly enough, there is no mention of discussing any legislation in regards to the regulation of banking institutions in their dealing with cannabis companies. This is a multi-billion-dollar industry being conducted in cash because banks are too scared to touch it. It will be interesting to see if this topic is at least addressed tomorrow. (Most recently the SAFE Banking Act was passed by the House of Representatives in September 2019 but has yet to reach the Senate.)

 

You can watch a live stream of the hearing tomorrow (Wednesday, January 15th, 2020) at 10:00am EST here: https://energycommerce.house.gov/committee-activity/hearings/hearing-on-cannabis-policies-for-the-new-decade

 

**UPDATES TO FOLLOW**

At KL Security, we have a proven track record for compliance with state laws and security requirements. Utilizing the Total Harvest Coverage methodology for cannabis facility security design and planning 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.

 

 

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

Is Medical Marijuana Coming to Mississippi?

March 11, 2020 — UPDATE

The House of Representatives in Mississippi has passed a resolution to allow an additional item on November’s ballot. This new measure would legalize marijuana for medicinal use.

Lawmakers state this new resolution improves upon the previous petition submitted by Mississippians for Compassionate Care. Critics state this will only confuse voters, and split the vote. Some are worried this will delay the implementation of a medicinal marijuana program.

You can read Resolution 39 here.

January 9, 2020

It’s official. Mississippians will vote on Medical Marijuana in November 2020. A petition was successfully submitted by Mississippians for Compassionate Care https://www.medicalmarijuana2020.com/ and received a spot on this year’s ballot.

 

Regulation of the Medical Marijuana industry has been initially delegated to the Mississippi Department of Health, but is being met with apprehension and rejection. The Department of Health is opposing this assignment due to several reasons. The DoH is unsupportive due to the lack of federal legality, possible medical harms, and insufficient means to regulate the industry. In a statement issued by the DoH, the organization claims these responsibilities of regulation are “far beyond the scope and mission of the Agency, including oversight of agricultural production of marijuana, oversight of marijuana product processing and tax collection”. http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/msdhsite/_static/resources/8376.pdf

 

It is safe to predict that the ballot measure will pass. Societal perceptions of the substance have shifted in the past decades, and Americans want legal access. In a poll published by Gallup in October 2019, it is reported roughly 66% of Americans support legalization of Marijuana.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/267698/support-legal-marijuana-steady-past-year.aspx

Two-thirds of the country has legalized marijuana for one intended use or another. It is clear that the change is coming. The question now becomes ‘when’? The Mississippi Department of Health has eight months to brainstorm and formulate a game plan for if this measure comes to fruition.

 

It can also be assured that entrepreneurs and businesses will be strongly considering Mississippi as a coveted market due to the provision, “The rules and regulations shall not limit the number of licensed medical marijuana treatment centers, nor set the price of medical marijuana”. https://www.sos.ms.gov/content/InitiativesPDF/Proposed%20Initiative%20Measure.pdf

 

At KL Security, we have a proven track record for compliance with state laws and security requirements. Utilizing the Total Harvest Coverage methodology for cannabis facility 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.

 

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice.

 

https://www.medicalmarijuana2020.com/

http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/msdhsite/_static/resources/8376.pdf

https://news.gallup.com/poll/267698/support-legal-marijuana-steady-past-year.aspx

https://www.sos.ms.gov/content/InitiativesPDF/Proposed%20Initiative%20Measure.pdf