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

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.

Marijuana Business Licensing in Illinois

On January 1, 2020, marijuana will be legal for adult use in Illinois. While residents and neighbors of Illinois may be counting the days, dispensaries and growers are trying to plan for demand.

“…55 existing stores will have to meet the demands of a 13 million-person state with a massive tourist population.” [1]

The current medical cannabis structure serves roughly 70,000 residents. Even if only a quarter of the population decides to partake in the newly legal activity, that’s an additional 3.18 million people. That number doesn’t consider tourists (and/or neighbors to Illinois).

“…our tourism industry welcomes more than 110 million visitors per year, who spend billions of dollars annually.” – Illinois Office of Tourism [2]

What does this mean for entrepreneurs looking to open their own

As a premier partner of Total Harvest Coverage (THC360) we help leading cannabis entrepreneurs and businesses with security plans and integration to stay compliant.

marijuana growing, cultivation, processing or Illinois dispensary business?

Businesses currently operating under a medical marijuana license are going to be able to remain in operation and sell recreational cannabis. These existing businesses are also granted an additional location under their current license.

 

Security Plans & Architectural Planning

Success in the cannabis market depends on a solid business plan & security plan that is designed to maintain compliance, meet regulatory standards and optimize business operations. Leading cannabis companies utilize the Total Harvest Coverage method to plan, grow and scale their business security.


Applications for new dispensaries are due no later than January 1, 2020. Illinois has until May 1, 2020 to either approve or deny an application. The license awarded from this round is conditional or a pre-license. An establishment must then pass inspection and pay all fees to receive their final licensing to sell marijuana product.

“Non-Social Equity Applicants will pay a $5,000 application fee. Should they be awarded a license, the fee for an Adult Use Dispensing Organization License is $60,000 for a two-year license. Social Equity Applicants will pay a $2,500 application fee. Should they be awarded a license, the fee for an Adult Use Dispensing Organization License is $30,000 for a two-year license.” [3]

Applicants should begin collaborating with industry consultants now to ensure construction of the dispensary occurs quickly and efficiently. Detailed plans for every facet of the business are required within the conditional application, and must be adhered to during implementation. This is where industry experts come into play.

KL Security has successfully developed and implemented security measures for multiple marijuana dispensaries and secure cannabis facilities in multiple states. Our security experts are knowledgeable and eager to assist your business in developing a one of a kind plan to best suit your needs, learn more about Security Plans and cannabis facility design 

ArmorStor™ MJ7840D Controlled Substance Vault Door with Day Gate   Our Vault Doors are manufactured to meet GSA Approved Class 5 Ratings and in their native form are used by the US Government for the storage of Classified Information as well as items such as weapons, ammunition, narcotics, etc.  The sale of the standard doors is restricted however, to only the US Government and Military.  GSA now allows us to market the exact same door, without the GSA Approved Label, to the private sector. 

Restricted Access Approved Vaults

Prevent diversion, theft or loss of medical marijuana at a dispensary with UL Class 1 rated vaults. Our modular vaults are a fraction of the cost of a poured concrete vault and are fully scalable to your business growth. These vaults are in place in multiple states for DEA or pharmacy board approved applications.

Access Control & Entry Doors

BR Glass for retail dispensary locations and safety, we have you covered.

Locking entry door barriers for secure rooms and limited access for key employees that can be monitored with video surveillance to meet any potential codes for cannabis dispensaries and retail marijuana locations.

 

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

SOURCES

[1] Krane, Kris. (2019, June 25). Forbes Magazine. Illinois Legalization Is Historic, But Good Luck Finding Cannabis To Buy. Retrieved from:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kriskrane/2019/06/25/illinois-legalization-is-historic-but-good-luck-finding-cannabis-to-buy/#4d59bb65e253

[2] https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/AboutDCEO/Pages/Tourism.aspx

[3] https://www.idfpr.com/FAQ/AUC/FAQ%20-%20Adult%20use%20license%20for%20new%20dispensing%20organizations_.pdf

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 found at the website for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation: https://www.idfpr.com/profs/adultusecan.asp

 

 

Electronic Records Management for Illinois Marijuana Dispensaries

 

 

 

 

Illinois legislature requires dispensaries in Illinois to maintain security measures to protect both people and product.  One of the requirements for dispensary security is 24/7 video surveillance. Cameras must be rolling at all times and record footage of all entries & exits, parking lots, exterior of building, all vaults, safes, storage areas , and anywhere cannabis is handled in any fashion (sales, disposal, preparation, retail areas, storage, etc.) These cameras must be of substantial quality with the ability for law enforcement to identify vehicle license plates and use facial recognition. These records must be maintained for a minimum of 90 days, and available for review at any time.

All security system equipment and recordings shall be maintained in good working order, in a secure location so as to prevent theft, loss, destruction, or alterations.
Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act., 2019 Bill Text IL H.B. 1438

As if this wasn’t an already massive amount of data to store, dispensaries must also electronically maintain records of the following items for a minimum of three years (even in the event the dispensary closes):

(1)  Operating procedures;

(2)  Inventory records, policies, and procedures;

(3)  Security records;

(4)  Audit records;

(5)  Staff training plans and completion documentation;

(6)  Staffing plan; and

(7)  Business records, including but not limited to:

  • (i)  Assets and liabilities;
  • (ii)  Monetary transactions;
  • (iii)  Written or electronic accounts, including bank statements, journals, ledgers, and supporting documents, agreements, checks, invoices, receipts, and vouchers; and
  • (iv)  Any other financial accounts reasonably related to the dispensary operations.

Offering solutions for Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery planning of records management as part of your cannabis security plan and design.

Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act., 2019 Bill Text IL H.B. 1438 

These are all just the requirements set in place by the state of Illinois. It is important to also check the local ordinances to review any additional local guidelines, “…it is crucial to understand compliance within the state or states where an organization operates.” Smallwood, Robert F. Managing Electronic Records: Methods, Best Practices, and Technologies, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013.

 

Effective electronic record management is vital to the efficient operation of any modern business; “An investment in ERM (Electronic Record Management) is an

ioSafe data storage products are the best brand manufacturer of virtual cloud data to physical endpoint files and complete systems that process, store and archive data and electronic records for Illinois Dispensary and retail marijuana shops.

investment in business process automation and yields document control, document integrity, and security benefits.” Smallwood, Robert F. Managing Electronic Records: Methods, Best Practices, and Technologies, John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated, 2013.

When you’re ready to begin the process of securing your business (cannabis or otherwise), the consultants at KL Security are available to assist. Well versed in government regulations and recent legal mandates, we are prepared to ensure your business will pass requirements.  With sufficient cannabis security planning and programming your facility will be ready for license and compliance

TOLL FREE 1-866-867-0306

contact@klsecurity.com

DEA Rules, security requirements and regulations per the Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR1301.72https://www.klsecurity.com/products/medical-marijuana-dea-storage.html

 

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: Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act., 2019 Bill Text IL H.B. 1438