Five Things You Need to Know
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Cannabis Security Concerns in Washington Following Burglaries

The legal Cannabis  market is still in its infancy, and experiencing some major growing pains. One such growing pain is that of transparency. Customers and regulators want to be able to access information in regards to licensees, be they retail dispensaries, growers or cultivation facilities. With the internet, this has made this wish much easier to accomplish.

 

Up until last week, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) provided a map detailing locations of marijuana producers and processors. A recent string of burglaries has compelled the LCB to remove this map. There’s no confirmed correlation between the burglaries and the LCB’s disclosure of locations, but the state government has chosen to err on the side of caution.  This information is still accessible by the public via a public records requests (as mandated by Washington law).

Interactive map on the LCB website displaying retail locations:
http://wslcb.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=a84ba123b8d94a65aa03ae573a65c1aa

 

Regulating a previously illegal substance with a high black-market value is no easy feat.

Stringent security regulations are often stressed at the retail level, and less so for other licensees. It is pertinent to remember that security is a critical facet at any level of the cannabis economic chain.

 

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.

Schaneman, Bart. January 2, 2020. Washington states removes online map of cannabis businesses in response to recent burglaries. Marijuana Business Daily. Retrieved from: https://mjbizdaily.com/washington-state-regulators-remove-online-map-of-cannabis-businesses-in-response-to-recent-burglaries/

The Cannabis Countdown in Illinois

Today is New Year’s Eve, and many Illinois residents have a big reason to celebrate in 2020.

In less than 24 hours, marijuana will be legal to purchase for recreational use. Residents and businesses are gearing up for the historic occasion.

 

Some Illinois dispensaries are planning to open as early as 6am; others have rented out coffee shops to keep customers warm and happy, and one store will be using a paging system to notify customers when to return to make purchases.

 

Chicago Sun Times Interactive Map on where to buy weed in Illinois:

https://chicago.suntimes.com/cannabis/2019/12/27/21030851/recreational-marijuana-cannabis-legal-weed-jan-1-illinois-brighton-park

 

There is, however, one lingering concern in the back of everyone’s mind: will the supply be able to satiate demand? Politicians and experts actually agree that the answer is a resounding, “NO”.  Medical marijuana patients have inventory concerns, but priority has been given to patients over recreational customers. Stores must maintain a certain amount of product exclusively for medical patients.

 

The efficiency (or lack thereof) of this roll out could affect how and when marijuana is legalized in the surrounding areas. Kentucky is discussing medical marijuana next year, and Indiana has already begun decriminalization efforts to combat the flow of product in from Illinois & Michigan. Tomorrow is a historic day for the Midwest, and neighbors to Illinois will be watching carefully.

 

Leaders in the Illinois cannabis market depend on a holistic security plan that is designed to maintain compliance, meet regulatory standards, and optimize business operations. How are you handling Exhibit H & Exhibit J of your license application?

 

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

 

Schuba, Tom. 2019, December 16. Pro-pot lawmakers warn of supply shortage, vow to prioritize weed sales to medical patients. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved from: https://chicago.suntimes.com/cannabis/2019/12/16/21024768/pot-illinois-supply-shortage-legal-weed-sales-medical-marijuana

 

 

Schuba, Tom. 2019, December 27. Long lines, limited supply and only 9 places to shop: Here’s what to expect in Chicago when weed becomes legal Jan. 1. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved from: https://chicago.suntimes.com/cannabis/2019/12/27/21030851/recreational-marijuana-cannabis-legal-weed-jan-1-illinois-brighton-park

 

 

South Dakota to Vote on Medical Marijuana, Cannabis Dispensaries

In November of 2020, South Dakota constituents will have the option of

expressing their wishes on the status of medical marijuana in their state.

 

The secretary of state validated signatures and will allow the issue on a ballot for next year’s election. https://sdsos.gov/elections-voting/assets/2020IM_Legalize_Marijuana_Medical_Use_AG_Statement.pdf

 

This is the first of two petitions submitted to the office of the secretary of state.

 

Per the initiated measure, this petition would legalize marijuana testing, manufacturing, and cultivation facilities, as well as marijuana dispensaries. These establishments would be required to submit applications and register with the Department.

 

 

If passed and made a new medical marijuana law in South Dakota, qualified medical patients would be allowed delivery, manufacture-and for State residents, cultivation-of marijuana and marijuana-based products to treat or alleviate debilitating medical conditions certified by the patients’ practitioners.

 

 

Marijuana Possession Decimalization?

Qualified medical patients (cardholders) would be allowed to have up to three (3) ounces of of marijuana and additional amounts of marijuana products.

 

These new laws, requirements and plans for the safe manufacture, and security of patients, caregivers and facilities may come to fruition in the near future.

 

 

Indiana Senator Karen Tallian Plans for Cannabis Decriminalization

According to a new story from High Times, Indiana is once again putting cannabis decriminalization on the floor for debate.

 

In years past, Karen Tallian, a state senator in Indiana, has filed legislation in favor of making cannabis plans that would bring Indiana to the forefront of decriminalization, and again on Monday, has done it once again.

 

If laws in Indiana for marijuana were to change, this would bring the total to over 20 states with some form of decriminalization for marijuana possession.

 

For those that are anticipating changes to Indiana cannabis laws and plans for security requirements to apply for any potential license application, the best advice is to be patient.

New Jersey Voters to Decide on Legal Cannabis in 2020

This holiday season, New Jersey lawmakers are discussing a different kind of ‘trees’. A measure to place marijuana on the 2020 ballot was passed yesterday (Monday, December 16, 2019). This ballot will give New Jersey constituents the choice in whether they want to allow marijuana available for adult legal purchase without a prescription.

New Jersey Cannabis Facilities and Dispensaries poised for potential growth.

 

New Jersey currently allows marijuana use for medicinal purposes. This past summer, the Governor signed an act into law expanding their current medical marijuana program. It would appear that New Jersey is paying attention, and making alterations where needed. Let’s hope when it comes time to draft regulations for the adult use market, they are still paying attention. Many states have been purposefully vague within their crafting of regulations. Future licensees can only hope that New Jersey will be more concise and direct within their instructions for operation of the adult-use market.

 

If an individual is contemplating entering the legal cannabis market in New Jersey, now would be a great time to start doing research on security plans, facility design and more.

 

At KL Security, we’ve completed medical marijuana security projects in New Jersey, and 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.

 

We work with leading architects, interior designers and construction management firms to ensure projects are completed from start to finish. With an established track record of completed facility designs, including medical marijuana facilities in New Jersey, we set the standard for growing, cultivation and retail dispensary for medical and recreational marijuana plans, layouts and project management.

 

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

 

Catalini, Mike. December 17, 2019. NJ lawmakers pass marijuana referendum for 2020 ballot. Associate Press. Retrieved from: https://apnews.com/372117448cd3dfbb415b1a67204a71b3

 

New Jersey Department of Health: Division of Medical Marijuana

https://www.nj.gov/health/medicalmarijuana/

 

DEA Allowing Applicants for Marijuana Research Facilities

The amount of marijuana researchers has increased by 40% in two years. With the dramatic increase in the number of approved researchers, comes a colossal increase in demand for researchable product. Until this past fall, the University of Mississippi was the only approved producer for medical marijuana for research purposes.

 

As the country moves toward legalization, the Drug Enforcement Administration recognizes the need for better quantity and quality of THC products for researchers. Americans want legal weed, but they want to know the scientific pros and cons as well. This also allows cannabis companies to fund research to better their products, just like pharmaceutical companies.

 

Meet all of the security requirements for Controlled Substance Storage for Schedule I – V with a variety of UL Listed TL-15, TL-30 and TL-60 safes and ArmorStor Vaults

Marijuana is currently classified as a schedule I drug (at the federal level). These production facilities will be held to the same standards as other manufacturers of similarly scheduled products.

While individual states have created security requirements for compliance, cannabis is still subject to DEA rules and restrictions. Per the Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR 1301.72 As such, our vault rooms are rated per UL 608 Standards as follows:

  • UL Class 1 Vault(30 minutes torch and tool resistance)
  • UL Class 2 Vault(60 minutes torch and tool resistance)
  • UL Class 3 Vault(120 minutes torch and tool resistance)

 

When you’re ready to begin the process of security planning for your cannabis business operation, the consultants at KL Security are available to assist with facility security plans, security equipment, ArmorStor Compliant vaults and more. Well versed in government regulations and recent legal mandates, we are prepared to help your business plan and pass requirements for Cannabis facility design and security programming.

 

Information taken from www.DEA.gov

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

 

 

 

Marijuana Decriminalization in Indiana?

UPDATE:

On Monday, December 16, 2019, Senator Karen Tallian filed a marijuana reform package for the upcoming 2020 legislative session. This package addresses state wide decriminalization, hemp regulation reform, and calls for the establishment of a Cannabis regulatory department. Senator Tallian calls Indiana’s hemp laws ‘outdated and confusing’ as well as ‘a mess’. There will be opposition; Indiana is a conservative state. Governor Eric Holcomb, Republican, has said he will not support legalization while marijuana remains illegal at the federal level. (5)

 

Will there be more than corn in Indiana? The majority of residents hope so.

Roughly 80% of Hoosiers favor legalizing marijuana at some capacity (medicinal or recreation cannabis). (1)

 

The legalization of marijuana in neighboring states may have had an influence in this matter.  Indiana borders Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. Three out of four of these states (Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio) currently have legislature on the books allowing constituents to use Cannabis in one form or another without fear of criminal consequences. Kentucky is slated to vote on the issue of medical marijuana legalization in early 2020, so this may soon change. (2)

 

If Kentucky legalizes marijuana for medicinal use, Indiana will be completely surrounded by weed. It would be incredibly naïve to believe that visitors from neighboring states will not be bringing it with them when they cross state lines.

Would that be legal? No.

If these visitors were intercepted by law enforcement and prosecuted, would that add to Indiana’s overburdened criminal justice system? Yes.

 

Two (2) Indiana Counties have released statements on decriminalization of cannabis. In a state that is bordered by Four (4) others with legalized cannabis or hemp, these changes are welcomed by 80% of residents (1)

Some communities and officials are choosing to adapt with the times, and reallocate their resources. It is being recognized that pursuing these low level/nonviolent charges, may not be the wisest choice on how to spend taxpayer’s dollars. Perhaps police officers and court officials could be more influential to the overall safety of a community if they were able to spend more time catching violent offenders.

The Marion County prosecutor thinks so. Marion County is located in the center of the state, contains the state capital: Indianapolis, and is home to just shy of a million people. (US Census Bureau https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/marioncountyindiana)

 

“Mears announced Monday that his office will no longer prosecute certain marijuana possession offenses in Marion County. If a person possesses less than one ounce of marijuana, that person will not face formal charges from the prosecutor’s office, effective immediately. The policy is aimed at diverting resources to violent crimes, such as murder and sexual assault.” (3)

 

It now appears that Lake County officials may follow Marion County’s lead. This week, County officials discussed the option to modify marijuana possession from a criminal to a civil infraction. Under the new ordinance, individuals caught with small amounts of marijuana would be issued a ticket and ordered to pay a fine instead of going to jail.

 

“The Lake County Council has preliminarily endorsed an ordinance establishing a civil fine for marijuana possession, instead of requiring people caught with pot to go to jail. The change is being spurred by the forthcoming legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois and Michigan.” (4)

 

These baby steps are a big deal to Hoosiers. This shows constituents that politicians are listening, and making the first moves toward legalization. Given these recent developments, how long will it be until Indiana changes laws and plans for legalization of marijuana? Time will tell.

 

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

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

SOURCES:

  1. Carden, Dan. (2018, November 14). Poll finds more than 8 in 10 Hoosiers favor legalization of recreational or medicinal marijuana. The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved from: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/poll-finds-more-than-in-hoosiers-favor-legalization-of-recreational/article_849e8f55-5fa8-5b6b-818d-4bf8fcee3e5a.html
  2. Drury, Adam. (2019, November 3). Kentucky May Soon Legalize Medical Marijuana. High Times Magazine. Retrieved from: https://hightimes.com/news/kentucky-may-soon-legalize-medical-marijuana/
  3. Hill, Crystal & Martin, Ryan. (2019, September 30). Marion County will no longer prosecute simple marijuana possession, officials say. The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved from: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/2019/09/30/marion-county-no-longer-prosecute-marijuana-possession-officials-say/3818748002/
  4. Carden, Dan. (2019, December 10). Getting with the times on pot or thumbing nose at state law? Lake County mulls tickets, not jail. The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved from: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/getting-with-the-times-on-pot-or-thumbing-nose-at/article_77bb2a8f-6538-5c29-b634-179a7d0f3093.html
  5. Carden, Dan. (2018, December 24). Holcomb strongly opposes legislative proposals to legalize marijuana in Indiana. The Times of Northwest Indiana. Retrieved from: https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/gov-holcomb-strongly-opposes-legislative-proposals-to-legalize-marijuana-in/article_3a402245-4ecc-50f1-b9f8-81bc7947bd68.html
  6. Press Release from the Office of State Senator Karen Tallian: Tallian files marijuana reform package, will push for decriminalization. Retrieved from: https://www.indianasenatedemocrats.org/tallian-files-marijuana-reform-package-will-push-for-decriminalization/

 

Indiana County Proposes Relaxed Marijuana Possession Laws

In big new for the state of Indiana, Lake County, whose borders are near Michigan and Illinois, where cannabis is legal for medical and recreational use, has proposed to relax penalties for marijuana possession.

 

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/michigan/articles/2019-12-11/indiana-county-might-ease-up-on-marijuana-possession

 

In what appears to be an effort to reduce the costs associated with marijuana infractions on the judicial system in Lake County, Indiana has taken progressive steps toward decriminalization.

Maine to Begin Licensing Process for Recreational Marijuana Facilities

Friday, December 6, 2019

**UPDATE**

The Office of Marijuana Policy for the state of Maine has uploaded all applicable documents for adult use marijuana facilities. All application materials and instructions are now available at:

https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/adult-use/applications-forms

 

The Office of Marijuana Policy has begun to publish forms online for marijuana facilities catering to recreational customers. The Marijuana Legalization Act was passed in 2016 by voters, and constituents could be able to purchase marijuana without a doctor’s approval as early as Spring of 2020.   Title 28-B, the Marijuana Legalization Act, outlines the provisions for the Adult-Use program in Maine, as well as the licensing protocols and procedure.

 

One such provision gives municipalities the authorization to approve or deny operation of marijuana facilities within its borders. These municipalities also have the power to demand additional licensing fees that may exceed those required by the state. Some municipalities go so far as to require approval before submitting an application to the state licensing body. It is of the utmost importance to check local rules upon beginning the planning/application stages of starting a marijuana facility.

 

Security requirements vary from state to state. Some states’ rules are very clear and concise in referencing the safe storage or cannabis products, and others are not; Maine is not. Within medicinal facilities, the state rules require physical safety parameters that ‘deter theft and ensure safety’, Code ME R. 18-691-2.

 

Initial estimates by industry experts predict the recreational market in Maine could top $150 million in its first year of operation (1).

 

Cannabis dispensaries seeking to simplify compliance reference the Total Harvest Coverage plan for security planning & architectural programming including

  • Ingress/Egress
  • Entrances/Exits
  • Limited Access Areas
  • Storage Vaults & Vault Rooms

Whether you are seeking to maintain regulatory requirements and trace-ability / reporting at the minimum or maximum level, consulting with an experience integrator who has experience with applications, licenses, design, plans and build outs is key to business success.

 

To learn more about the standards for cannabis facility design as well as the protocols to deter theft and ensure safety, consult with Total Harvest Coverage consultants.

Marijuana Legalization Act https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/adult-use/rules-statutes/title-28-b

MAINE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA PROGRAM RULES https://www.maine.gov/dafs/omp/medical-use/rules-statutes/18-691-C.M.R.-ch.-2

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