Air Tube Systems: Security Applications in the Cannabis Industry

By: Shelley Swearingen | August 18, 2020

Pneumatic Air Tubes may not be considered ‘innovative’, but their application within an emerging market is. Pneumatic tubes have been used to transport items for well over a century, and the legal cannabis industry is in its infancy in America. Cannabis entrepreneurs are in uncharted territory as to how best safeguard their employees and protect product – all while minimizing diversion and driving revenue. Air Tubes are an easy way to achieve all of these goals.

Banks have utilized pneumatic tubes for over a hundred years, and tube systems are commonplace in today’s pharmacies, as well. Air tubes allow for the fast and safe transportation of small items like medication or currency.

By using pneumatic air tubes, dispensaries can keep the majority of their inventory safely stored in a secure room. The less stock left on the sales floor, the less the chances for theft or diversion. When inventory on the sales floor is minimized, the opportunity for diversion is also reduced. A budtender can assist a customer/patient select their preferred product, and then request the quantity from an employee working in a stock room. The item is retrieved (employees never have to leave their respective areas) and sent to the front of the house for the point of sale. This also makes inventory management and surveillance easier.

Air tube systems also provide extra safeguards within cash management. Cashiers are also able to make cash deposits quickly and safely to more secure locations (like vaults).

Out of sight, out of mind. Keeping cash and product stored elsewhere ensures the safety of employees while making it harder for would-be thieves to steal cannabis product – key components to security protocols and operational procedures to deter diversion of cash and cannabis.

KL Security utilizes the THC360 holistic approach when evaluating a facility’s needs. Brand image and company expectations are assessed to formulate the best solution for an issue. Our implementations assist in diversion, drive revenue, and maintain compliance. To see how the experts at K.L. Security can assist your cannabis dispensary/pharmacy, craft growing facility, secure transporting service, or testing facility call us at 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.

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

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.

Adult Use Marijuana Sales Begin in Michigan

Cannabis is legal in Michigan and up and running with retail dispensaries as of December 1, 2019

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.

For retail dispensaries and cannabis facilities seeking security planning or architectural plans and programming, please visit Total Harvest Coverage

(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

Maneuvering Marijuana in Michigan: Secure Transporters

Secure transporters move marijuana product and cash obtained from medical cannabis and/or recreational marijuana transactions across the state for a fee.  Think about it as a business owner: you are operating a new business, and your product was very recently illegal. The black market will continue to operate for some time until the State of Michigan has a system in place to protect these assets. As such, there is a mandated 3rd party transport law for all medical cannabis and recreational marijuana moving from Growers, Processors, Licensed Micro business, storage and retail dispensaries.

“In Colorado, which legalized recreational use in 2014, the illegal black market is now a larger problem than before legalization…” Walsh, Dustin. (4/8/2019) Legal pot vs. black market a balance. Crain’s Detroit Business, Vol. 35 Issue 14, p1-1, 1p.  

Bearing this in mind, the conveyance of product from grower to seller must be protected. 

The state of Michigan will begin accepting applications for select secure transport licenses beginning December 6, 2019. If an individual or entity is thinking of applying for any licensure, it would be in his/her best interest to start assembling documents now. To be eligible as a secure transporter, the license applicant will need to meet several qualifications taken from: Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. SS 333.27505 (LexisNexis 2018) and Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. SS 27959 (LexisNexis 2018):

  • No ownership/interest in another marijuana business
  • May not be a registered patient or caregiver of medicinal marijuana
  • Resident of Michigan
  • May not hold title to marijuana 

 

 

 

Growers, Processor and Provisioning Centers and Secure Transportation of Marijuana and Cannabis The role of secure transporter within the Michigan Medical cannabis and recreational marijuana chain is integral. A grower may not move their product legally (to other growers and/or dispensaries) without using the services of a secure transporter. MCL 333.27503 (4) (LexisNexis, Lexis Advance through Public Act 47 from the 2019 Legislative Session): 

 

 

Secure Transporter Requirements: 

  • Drivers must have chauffeur’s license issued by Michigan
  • Employees handling marijuana or cash from transactions may not have a felony conviction within the past five years, been released from incarceration in the past five years, or a hold a  misdemeanor conviction involving substance abuse in the past five years. 
  • Each transporting vehicle must be operated by a minimum 2-person crew. The vehicle is never to be left unattended while marijuana product is in custody.
  • Route plans and manifests must be kept within the vehicle, and available to present to law enforcement at all times. This data must also be logged into the statewide monitoring system. 
  • Marijuana must be contained within sealed containers, and not accessible while the vehicle is in motion. 
  • A vehicle operating as a secure transporter may not display any visual markings or indicate in any way that it is transporting marijuana. 

    Implementing Total Harvest Coverage to maintain compliance with state laws and regulatory requirements is key to the best security planning and protocols that deter diversion and theft.

In Michigan, security requirements vary by municipality and County.  It is imperative one checks the local code for a potential business to correctly implement the adequate standard. It is of the utmost importance that businesses/operators are complying with regulations as these establishments are available for inspection at any time.

Learn more about Marihuana facility design standards, security compliance and planning

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

For the latest updates, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) is in the process of implementing the security and regulatory framework for the entire state, Michigan County and Townships. 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: Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. “REGULATION AND TAXATION OF MARIHUANA ACT”. , 2017 Bill Text MI S.B. 1243 SEC. 501

 

LINKS TO FORMS & LEGISLATION:

MICHIGAN MARIJUANA REGULATORY AGENCY

https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-89334_79571_90056—,00.html

MICHIGAN REGULATION AND TAXATION OF MARIHUANA ACT

https://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(wwmtk0j1m4jeg10at2zbsucs))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-Initiated-Law-1-of-2018

 

Secure your Stash: Licensing and Security in Michigan’s Medical Cannabis & Recreational Marijuana Market

Due to the legalization of marijuana on a medical and recreational level, Michigan is ripe with financial opportunities. There are many different levels of operation an entrepreneur may engage. To cultivate, sell, or transfer marijuana to establishments, one would need a Michigan Grower’s license. There are three classes of license for growers: Class A – 500 marijuana plants; Class B – 1,000 plants; Class C – 1,500 plants. Remember, cannabis still may be subject to DEA Rules, security requirements and regulations per the Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR1301.72

THC360’s approach to integrated security plans, compliance with state laws and maximize business revenues is part of the leading cannabis companies success and growth plans. As a premier partner of Total Harvest Coverage, we believe in designing best in class plans for your cannabis facility or transportation fleet.

Within the pot hierarchy, there is a step directly below growers: microbusiness. Michigan Microbusiness license holders may cultivate up to 150 marijuana plants, process/package marijuana, and may sell/transfer to those 21 & over but cannot sell to other marijuana businesses. (Think: start up with little capital.)

Next in the cannabis chain, we will find the processor and the retailer. These are separate licenses and have different limitations/functions. The processor may purchase marijuana from a grower, extract resin, or create a marijuana infused product for sale (edibles, etc.), and/or transfer said product to another processor or provisioning center. The retailer may acquire marijuana from establishments and sell to other establishments or individuals.

The chart below demonstrates which cannabis license holder can engage with another:

The state of Michigan will begin accepting applications for select licenses beginning December 6, 2019. If an individual is thinking of applying for any licensure, it would be in his/her best interest to start assembling documents now. The forms and applications are not yet available, but It’s safe to assume the document checklist will resemble those for medicinal facilities. The MMFL prequalification requires over 40 documents alone.  This information can be found on the state of Michigan’s website: https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-89334_79571_87302—,00.html

In Michigan, security requirements vary by municipality.  It is imperative one checks the local code for a potential business to correctly implement the adequate standard. It is of the utmost importance that recreational businesses/operators are complying with regulations as these establishments are available for inspection at any time. Performing a realistic evaluation of the expected size of business (as well as future growth) should be done at the introductory phase. For example: a microbusiness may suffice with several small TL-15 Rated safes bolted to the floor or a dispensary may require a modular vault and vault door to house the quantity of inventory.

In summation, asset protection should always be at the forefront of a business owner’s mind. Replacing valuable product or having to cease business to meet government regulations is costly, inconvenient, and stressful.  The cannabis and marijuana industry is sure to be highly competitive and a highly sought-after revenue stream. KL Security has experienced consultants ready to help, and offers security solutions for dispensaries, growers and retails that meet compliance for security.

KL Security is able to help at all levels of the supply chain:

Full line of cash management safes for retail point of sale

Cannabis Inventory Management

Growers, Greenhouses, or Cultivations Farms and Land

  • Safe and Vault Systems

Modular Vaults systems that meet DEA 21CFR1301.72 for Dispensaries are designed for DEA Approved Storage at Growers, Retail and Cultivation Farms

For the latest updates, the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) is in the process of implementing the security and regulatory framework for the entire state, Michigan County and Townships. 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: Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act. “REGULATION AND TAXATION OF MARIHUANA ACT”. , 2017 Bill Text MI S.B. 1243 SEC. 501

 

LINKS TO FORMS & LEGISLATION:

MICHIGAN MARIJUANA REGULATORY AGENCY

https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-89334_79571_90056—,00.html

MICHIGAN REGULATION AND TAXATION OF MARIHUANA ACT

https://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(wwmtk0j1m4jeg10at2zbsucs))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-Initiated-Law-1-of-2018