Arizona One Step Closer to Recreational Marijuana Market

By Shelley Swearingen | August 11, 2020



Earlier this year, Arizonans banned together in an attempt legalize marijuana. Marijuana is currently legal for medicinal use in the state, but residents would like to see access made available for all adults.


The issue was set to be voted on within the November ballot. A petition was submitted earlier this year by constituents; the initiative required 237,645 signatures and Smart and Safe Arizona (the group spearheading the initiative) acquired 420,000.


Opposition to this proposal was met by Arizonans for Health and Public Safety, a group backed by the Center for Arizona Policy (conservative group that supports ‘right-wing’ legislation). It’s safe to assume this group is also anti-cannabis legislation of any kind, but attacked the proposal on the basis that it doesn’t adequately address cannabis sales tax increases, driving under the influence, or marijuana potency. It also claimed the initiative is ‘confusing and deceptive’.  Based on these theories, the group filed a lawsuit challenging the pro-cannabis initiative.


And late last week, this suit was rejected. A Superior Court Judge ruled the provisions had be addressed sufficiently and found the initiative was not lacking. The judge found their claims to be unfounded. This was a huge win to the voters of Arizona. For now, the issue of legalizing marijuana for all adult Arizonans will be resolved in November by voters.


The recreational market is proposed to favor existing medical marijuana operators and also designate 26 new licenses specifically for social equity applicants.


Using data from the US Census Bureau and assuming the Arizona market would resemble the Illinois market, we can figure that Arizona might have had $170,322,000 in sales (so far) in 2020. That would have brought in over $27,000,000 in tax dollars for the state.*

Here at KL Security, we observe and implement a holistic approach to cannabis facility compliance and safety. We assist dispensaries, pharmacies, secure transporters, craft growers, large scale growers, and testing facilities in achieving revenue goals through protecting assets. We assist with security planning and SOPs for security protocols that prevent diversion of cash and cannabis products at all steps within a marijuana business’s lifetime: from licensing to successful operation to inspections. If you need assistance with the security portion of an application, want to learn how to make your operation safer, or are concerned about compliance – contact the consultants at KL Security at 866-867-0306 or at contact@klsecurity.com


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


*9,900,000 estimated adults in Illinois and $300,000,000 in sales (YTD Jan-Aug 2020) equated to roughly $30.3 spent per adult resident.5,677,400 estimated adults in Arizona = $170,322,000

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

March Networks: Managing Loss Prevention with Artificial Intelligence

By Shelley Swearingen – April 23, 2020

We’ve all seen a heist movie where the robber spray paints a security camera. His partners all rush in undetected to steal the money, jewels, high valued art, or priceless relic. Thanks to March Networks, these techniques are now antiquated.

March Networks offers surveillance systems with cameras equipped with intelligent video. These systems are able to interpret what they see and trigger alarms accordingly. And unlike people, cameras don’t sleep (gone are the days of the snoozing security guard).

ME6 Cameras, the IR DuraBullet & the IR Dome, record footage, evaluate the footage, and sound alarms when necessary. For example, all of these situations would trigger an alarm:

  • an object is abandoned in one space for too long
  • a person or object moves in the wrong direction
  • people loiter in an area for too long
  • a vehicle stays in an area for too long
  • a person or vehicle enters a certain area
  • a camera is tampered with

But what if you’re not worried about the burglar in the black hoodie? For retail establishments, internal theft and shoplifting are bigger concerns. Surveillance cameras and accurate record keeping are the two best factors to prevent and minimize shrinkage.1 The integration of Searchlight software with March Networks surveillance systems make it easier than ever to identify instances of diversion.  Searchlight software allows loss prevention associates to quickly & easily search transactions to match the incident with the footage. This significantly cuts down on man hours spent on reviewing recordings to identify culprit(s). March Networks is even available to manage and maintain this solution with the help of certified partners.

Cannabis entrepreneurs know just how important loss prevention is to a business plan. The product these business grow, cultivate, test, transport, and sell is highly profitable and easily sold on the black market. Furthermore, marijuana businesses are forced to do a large amount of their transactions in cash due to the illegality of the substance federally. For these two reasons, experts suggest investing in quality surveillance measures and storing cash and product in cannabis security vaults.2

The partnership of March Networks and KL Security takes diversion prevention one step further. These security experts have integrated artificially intelligent camera systems and Searchlight monitoring software with cash safes. These smart safes offer bill validating, cash currency counting, cash management, and cash recycling. If your Smart Safe Point of Sale (SSPOS) unit reports a discrepancy, it’s tied to the surveillance system and all guesswork is removed as to when/where/how the incident occurred.

March Networks and KL Security are revolutionizing the way businesses prevent theft. This technology is sure to be seen as the gold standard for loss prevention going forward, known as Total Retail Coverage and Total Harvest Coverage for Cannabis dispensaries and grow operations. To discuss how we can assist your business shrink loss and grow profits, you can reach out to a qualified expert at 866-867-0306 or contact@klsecurity.com.

SearchLight & Retail POS Software Integrations

Features

  • Improve retail security and loss prevention efforts with Point of Sale exception-based reports integrated with intelligent video
  • Oversee operations with video images from all of your business locations
  • Track and analyze customer behavior with people counting, queue length and dwell time analytics
  • Receive alerts about suspicious activity

Total Retail Coverage Security and loss prevention efforts

From shoplifting to internal employee theft as well as organized retail crime, your profits are affected. With Total Retail Coverage, retail business can utilize intelligent video that proactively alerts you to suspicious transactions and other potentially problematic activity in your retail stores. Searchlight’s powerful combination of surveillance video, transaction data and analytics helps you improve retail security and reduce losses. The software’s business intelligence reporting tools also let you gather valuable data on employee behavior and customer interests, information you can use to improve operations, customer service, marketing, and profitability.

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

  1. Alstete, Jeffrey (2006), “Inside advice on educating managers for preventing employee theft”, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 34 No. 11 pp. 833-844
  2. Helmer, Jodi. November 12, 2019. Cannabis Security: How Growers Can Prevent Internal Theft. Cannabis Business Times. Retrieved from: https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/prevent-employee-theft-cannabis-facility-industry/

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.