Safes and Vaults: Evaluating Security Needs

By Shelley Swearingen | May 26, 2020

Safe Vault
noun: a place or receptacle to keep articles (such as valuables) safe adjective: affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty1   noun: a room or compartment for the safekeeping of valuables, or an underground storage compartment, or an arched structure of masonry usually forming a ceiling or roof 2  

Planning for the safety and security of a facility can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t need to be. By taking a few steps and evaluating the needs of your business, you can easily identify what the best solutions are.

First, you must identify what will be stored. Consideration should also be given to the level of theft associated with the item. For example: cannabis, firearms, and some pharmaceutical drugs are highly sought after on the black market.

Smaller amounts of items could safely be stored in a safe while others may require a custom-built vault room. KL Security offers custom vault rooms that are manufactured in individual panels for fast and easy installation. This cuts down on construction costs and keeps your project on schedule. 

  • Where do you plan to store items?
    • On-site or off-site?
    • Who will have access to this location?
      • Does access need to be limited?
    • Where is the location of the storage room?
      • Interior of building? Or does room contain an exterior wall?

Does your facility already have standards of procedure in place for who will have access to the items? Are there time restrictions on when these items can be accessed? Do you need to develop plans and standards for procedures on access?

If the storage location is off-site, perhaps additional measures should be taken; KL Security (through a partnership with March Networks) offers state of the art surveillance cameras. If the items are going to be contained in a room with an exterior wall, perhaps the wall should be reinforced by a vault panel.

  • What are the legal security or storage requirements?
    • Are there compliance mandates for the storage of items?
      • What are the consequences for violation?

Various government departments regulate the sale, storage, handling, and disposal of certain materials. The DEA has requirements as to how certain medicines must be stored; the ATF has requirements as to how explosives must be stored; States have requirements for the storage of cannabis that vary depending on legislation.

  • What is your budget?
    • Have you weighed the cost of purchase vs. cost of non-compliance?

This is where the evaluation of regulations is so important. If your facility were to be found to be non-compliant, there could be costly fines. In addition to fines, regulating departments may also require a cessation of business operations until the changes are made to bring violations up to code. These costs will undoubtedly exceed the initial cost of investment. 

Evaluating security needs is a multifaceted process, and should not be taken lightly. The experts at KL Security are experienced and willing to help. We’re dedicated to staying educated on legislation mandates and strive to provide the best possible service. Let us assist you in finding the right solution for your facility’s needs. To start a conversation on how we can secure your facility, improve safety compliance, or review security protocols call or email us:

(866) 867 – 0306 OR

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


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

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

Businesses Nationwide Installing Sneeze Guards Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Shelley Swearingen — April 6, 2020

Retailers across the country are doing their best to protect workers from contracting the coronavirus. To say the global economy has taken a hit from the coronavirus pandemic would be an understatement. Big box retailers and grocery stores are one of the few industries faring well during this time, but the high demand also brings big concerns.

These businesses are doing their best to protect their workers from falling ill, and it’s no easy task. Many have implemented shortened hours to disinfect stores between business days. Many are installing sneeze guards to add a layer of protection for workers on the ‘front lines’.

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that the respiratory virus is most commonly spread by coughing or exhaling. This added barrier is one more way business owners can protect their employees.

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Employee retention is always difficult for the retail sector, and even more so now. People are hesitant to willingly expose themselves to the possibility of catching the coronavirus. Holding onto these workers requires that management does everything in their power to offer protection to employees.

Many retail giants (Wal-Mart, Costco, Kroger, Albertsons, and Publix1) have already begun installing sneeze guards at all US locations. A Chicago-area Walmart recently lost two employees after succumbing to COVID-19 2. The death of these employees demands more stringent safe guards. 

These protective barriers should be in place for any business requiring face to face interaction of employees and customers, and are not relegated exclusively to grocery stores. Banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations should also enforce the use of sneeze guards.

It could be argued that is an employer’s legal duty to acquire sneeze guards during these times. Through the Code of Federal Regulations, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration demands:

Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment…” 29 CFR 1910.132

KL Security offers no-installation affordable sneeze guards available for purchase NOW. The plastic barriers are both lightweight and portable and come with a removable base for easy relocation. These sneeze guards are ready to go out of the box for immediate use. To purchase these for your organization click HERE or copy & paste this address into your browser:

The experts at KL Security are still available to answer any and all questions you may have when it comes to the protection of your facility. We’re experienced in assisting business leaders in all industries to fulfill compliance mandates and ensure overall preservation of best interests. Please reach out today: TOLL FREE 1-866-867-0306 or

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

  1. Hanbury, Mary. April 6, 2020. Sneeze guards, social distancing markers, and shopper limits: Here’s what US grocery chains are doing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Business Insider Magazine. Retrieved from:
  2. Duffy, Clare and Meyersohn, Nathaniel. April 5, 2020. Two workers at the same Walmart store die of coronavirus. CNN Business. Retrieved from:

Helpful Links:

United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regulations

Centers for Disease Control: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

World Health Organization Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

Explosives Storage: Classes of Explosives & Types of Magazines…How to determine the best storage magazine for compliance

By Shelley Swearingen — March 31, 2020

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) regulates and establishes guidelines for the storage of explosive items. These rules must be followed to ensure the absence of unnecessary injury, death, or diversion from criminals.

There are three different classes of explosives:

  • High explosives
    • Detonate by blasting cap when unconfined
    • Examples: blasting caps, detonating cord, dynamite, shaped charges, boosters, flash powder, bulk salutes, etc.
  • Low explosives
    • Deflagrate (burn away with sudden flame & sharp combustion) when confined
    • Examples: black powder, display fireworks, safety fuses, igniters, igniter cords, fuse lighters, etc.
  • Blasting agents
    • Any material or mixture consisting of fuel & oxidizer: intended for blasting & cannot be detonated by No. 8 blasting cap when unconfined
    • Examples: emulsions, water gels & slurries, ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO)

There are five different types of storage magazines for the safe storage of explosives:

  • Type 1:
    • For storage of all classes of explosives
    • Permanent structure
    • Bullet-, fire-, weather-, and theft-resistant
  • Type 2:
    • For storage of all classes of explosives
    • If placed indoors:
      • Fire- and theft-resistant
    • If placed outdoors:
      • Fire-, weather-, theft-, and bullet- and resistant
      • Must be affixed to position, but cannot have direct contact with the ground
      • Ventilated
  • Type 3:
    • For temporary attended storage of all classes of explosives
    • Fire-, weather-, and theft-resistant
    • Portable
  • Type 4:
    • For storage of low explosives, blasting agents, & non-mass detonating detonators
    • Fire-, weather-, and theft-resistant
  • Type 5:
    • For storage of blasting agents
    • Weather- and theft-resistant if stored outside

Inspections & Compliance

Magazines must be inspected every seven days to ensure no one has tried to enter these containers without authorization. Permanent magazines (if kept outside) must have a sufficient foundation or metal skirting to prevent access. A magazine stored indoors may not contain more than 50 pounds of explosives and cannot be stored inside a home or dwelling. To store explosives indoors of a business located near a residence, a request for variance must be submitted to the ATF and approved. The local fire safety authority should be notified of the storage of explosive materials for emergency preparedness. Furthermore, the ATF requires explosives to be stored at varying distances to transportation routes, inhabited buildings, and other explosives.

As always, we recommend a conversation with local authorities in your jurisdiction to ensure specific regulations are met and adhered to. We’re happy to facilitate and participate in conversations to ensure your requirements are met with the best and correct storage magazine.

So, what does it take to be in compliance? The mandates are complicated, and violations can be costly. This is merely a general overview of magazines and explosives storage. For additional guidance or assistance with products, please contact the experts at KL Security by phone: 866-867-0306 or email:

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

Helpful Links:

Cannacon Trade Show Postponed

By Shelley Swearingen — March 27, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Cannacon has been forced to reschedule the Detroit expo. This was slated to take place the first week of April and has since been moved to November.

Cannacon launched the first Cannabis business expo for the city of Detroit in 2018. This year marks the third consecutive annual event for the Detroit location. The Cannacon expo brings together professionals from all realms of the cannabis world. You can converse with experts in world-class genetics, retail displays, extraction technology, scientific trends, finance, marketing, branding, compliance, legal mandates, cultivation, etc. The list goes on and on.  

KL Security was slated to hold a booth at this event and will be present at the rescheduled date. We understand the levity of the situation as well as the necessity of the postponement. In the meantime, our goal is to continue to assist industry leaders (as well as novices) with their security needs.

We would have loved to meet you all face to face, but we will have to make do with remote communication. We are still fully operational and prepared to help your business grow. The cannabis industry continues to thrive during this unprecedented event. This shows how strong the market it is and the opportunities for continued growth.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the continued success of these entrepreneurs is their ability to shift and adapt. Marijuana business owners are open to innovation and state of the art integration practices that we have yet to see in the traditional retail market.

One such integration is the partnership of KL Security and March Networks. March Networks offers security camera systems to integrate with Point-of-Sale software. These collaborative systems are currently being merged with KL Security cash safes to ensure the lowest amount of financial diversion possible. If there’s a discrepancy within records, an auditor/manager is able to easily pull up the record and view the videotape of the transaction.

KL Security uses the Total Harvest Coverage approach for a 360° analysis of your business and potential needs. Craft growers, Secure Transporters, Cultivation facilities, Testing facilities, Processors, Dispensaries, and Pharmacies can rest assured knowing we can work together to fulfill compliance regulations and expand revenue.

If you have questions about how we can improve compliance within your facility, how to prevent diversion, or how to address security concerns, please reach out to us. We are available by phone: 1-866-867-2438 and email:

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

Considerations for Medical Gas Storage

By Shelley Swearingen — March 27, 2020

The most commonly handled hazardous gases in health care facilities are oxygen and nitrous oxide (frequently used as an anesthetic). These gases are oxidizers and when presented with heat and fuel can become very dangerous. Fire and explosion can occur quite easily if not handled or stored properly.

There are multiple facets to consider when evaluating storage needs:

  • Where will these items be stored?
    • Have you reviewed the requirements for signage?
    • Does the location have proper ventilation?
  • How many cylinders need to be stored?
    • What is the maximum capacity the facility would need to stock at any one time?
      • This should consider worst-case scenarios. Many healthcare facilities are experiencing this with the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
  • What is the size of the storage cylinders?
  • Is there a plan for where to store the empty cylinders?
  • Does your facility have a threshold for when to consider these cylinders ‘empty’?
    • If not, this needs to be established and enforced immediately.
    • Standard operating procedures should outline the proper order of labeling and storage for cylinders (full, in-use, or empty).

The National Fire Protection Association creates guidelines used to craft federal regulations for the storage of hazardous materials. You can find an overview of guidelines here:

KL Security experts are educated and experienced in assisting medical facilities, hospitals, and assisted living homes to fulfill compliance mandates for medical gas storage. We are ready to answer any questions and assist your facility in the proper storage of hazardous materials & medical gas. Email us at or call 1-866-867-0306 to discuss the needs of your facility.

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

Cannabis and COVID-19: Telehealth in Massachusetts

By Shelley Swearingen – March 23, 2020

It’s an understatement to say we are all feeling the effects of the coronavirus. Our lives have changed dramatically, and the full magnitude is still unknown. The most obvious & immediate consequences are those of self-quarantine and social distancing.

Many states have enacted measures to limit the contact of residents in the hopes of quelling the spread of the Coronavirus. One way to do this is to order the closure of non-essential business. Retail establishments have shuttered their doors with a few exceptions: grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, and dispensaries. In states where marijuana is legal, licensed cannabis shops have been deemed ‘essential’. This is a saving grace to the marijuana industry.

Legislators and state officials recognize that many utilize marijuana for purposes other than solely recreational. Many consider marijuana medicine and feel that access should not be disconnected. There are still restrictions, though.

Dispensaries are following physical distancing guidelines established by the CDC and encouraging customers/patients to utilize online ordering. Dispensaries will place markers on the floor as to where patients/customers should wait to limit contact and many are offering curbside pickup to online customers.

The Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) of Massachusetts has taken social distancing an additional step. Massachusetts state law requires a patient meet with a doctor in person for approval as a patient in the medical marijuana program. The Executive Director of the CCC issued guidance on this requirement and is allowing an exception. During the state of emergency imposed by the governor, a Provider may submit a waiver request to the CCC to approve a potential patient via telehealth mediums. It was determined that the requirement of the patient to appear physically may proliferate the spread of the virus and undermine the order of the Governor. 1

This viral response has undoubtedly affected every person in the country. The true implications and severity will not be known until a later date. The marijuana market is in its infancy and will truly be tested. I have faith the market will not only survive but be a driving force in helping America regain its footing.

UPDATE: 3/25/20 — The state of Massachusetts has issued a ‘stay at home’ advisory; all adult-use dispensaries have been ordered to cease & desist operations from March 24th through April 7th 2020. Cannabis dispensaries serving medical patients may continue operations.

The experts at KL Security review the health and well-being of operational protocols to give the best guidance for deterring diversion; we have proven our abilities to institute protocols for compliance and SOPs that coincide with legislation and adhere to 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. We’ve helped leaders in the national 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.

  1. Bulletin – Telehealth Consultations for New Patients

Illinois Adult Use Facility Application Deadline Extension

By Shelley Swearingen – March 18, 2020

Applications for Adult-Use Cannabis facilities (growers, infusers, and transporters) were originally due March 15, 2020. On March 12, the Governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker, issued an Executive Order to extend the submittal deadline. Furthermore, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is no longer accepting applications in person.

All applications must be sent via certified mail. The application must be postmarked on or before March 30, 2020. While this does seem like a major ‘chink’ in the marijuana market chain, Illinois is prioritizing social issues. The state (alongside the rest of the globe) is mitigating the Coronavirus pandemic.

Applicants are disappointed, but perhaps this extension could be seen as a positive. This allows more time for review and editing of the application. Are there areas that could be stronger? Were experts consulted on high-scoring sections?

Make use of time, let not advantage slip.
– William Shakespeare1

Take advantage of this extra time, and attune these sections to increase the likelihood of approval. The Security Planning exhibits remain the highest weighted portion of any cannabis facility application. The experts at K.L. Security are still available. We’re ready to assist in the development or fine-tuning of your security plan portion of your facility application.

At KL Security, we have a proven track record for compliance with state laws and security requirements. Our experts review the health and well-being of operational protocols to give the best guidance for deterring diversion. 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. We’ve helped leaders in Illinois (as well as the national cannabis industry) drive revenue and stay compliant with state laws.

This viral response has undoubtedly affected every person in the country. The true implications and severity will not be known until a later date. The marijuana market is in its infancy and will truly be tested. I have faith the market will not only survive but be a driving force in helping America regain its footing.

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

  1. Shakespeare, W., Duncan-Jones, K., & Woudhuysen, H. R. (2007). Shakespeare’s poems: Venus and Adonis, The Rape of Lucrece and the shorter poems. London: Arden Shakespeare.

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
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

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

Protecting Business Operations & Data During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Coronavirus is conquering the world, and officials are doing what they can to mitigate the spread. The virus is transmittable before symptoms appear, making it difficult to corral and prevent transmission.

Some states have implemented mandatory quarantine & isolation protocols. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are not in critical condition, you are remanded to your home to recover. A person may not attend work or school. Officials check-in by phone to ensure you do not break quarantine. If your symptoms require 24-hour medical attention, you are admitted to a hospital to be treated in isolation. Violating these orders will incur fees and possible prosecution.

In an effort to combat the spread, many are electing to work from home. Some are doing so voluntarily, others under direct order from management. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Square are all operating remotely (some voluntarily, others not) until the outbreak is contained.1

With all this discussion of working remotely, how do you ensure that your information stays secure? One easy way to verify the safety of proprietary information is to store it securely. The ioSafe Private Cloud Server is the best private cloud server available.  Accessing your work from anywhere is a requirement for modern enterprises, but public cloud services are often insecure and frequently quite slow (especially when it comes to recovering large-volume data).

We often forget how vulnerable our digital data really is. Proprietary business information is incredibly valuable and often irreplaceable. If you have concerns about the effectiveness of your digital security, reach out to the team at KL Security; seasoned and experienced security integrators are available to discuss your digital security needs.

TOLL FREE 1-866-867-0306

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

  1. Noguchi, Yuki. March 9, 2020. Laundry Between Emails: Working from Home Goes Viral in The Time of Coronavirus. National Public Radio. Retrieved from: