Cannabis Initiatives Win 2020 Election

By Shelley Swearingen | November 5, 2020

On November 3rd, millions of Americans spoke loud and clear: they want legal weed. Five states placed marijuana legalization on their ballots this year, and marijuana won approval in all five state elections.

Montana, Arizona, and New Jersey approved the institution of recreational marijuana markets. Mississippi approved the creation of a medical market, and South Dakota approved the legalization for all various forms of use.

The creation of these new markets means millions of dollars in sales to entrepreneurs as well as a massive influx of tax dollars to local governments. The legalization of cannabis within these states could also have an influence on bordering neighbors.  

Projected Sales

Here’s a breakdown of projected sales per state:

StatePopulationProjected 1st year sales
Arizona7,300,000+ $375,000,000
Mississippi2,900,000+ $240,000,000
Montana1,100,000+ $217,000,000
New Jersey8,900,000+ $375,000,000
South Dakota884,659+ $1,500,000

Polls have shown historically that most Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, but the country is torn more evenly on the issue of recreational use. The results of these elections show that the country is viewing marijuana more favorably than previously.


In Arizona, existing cannabis operators will automatically receive licensure within the recreational market, and an additional 26 licenses will be issued to social equity applicants.

In Mississippi, there is no ceiling on the number of licenses available to cannabis businesses, and these licenses are required to be issued prior to August 15, 2021. That’s a very quick timeline for the creation of a new market.

Montana will require all license holders to be residents, but like Mississippi, there is no limit to the number of licenses to be issued.

New Jersey currently has a robust medical marketplace, and these operators will probably have the first opportunity to apply or be grandfathered in to the new recreational system.

The licensing guidelines within the proposed legislation in South Dakota are vague and will more than likely cause litigation or require further clarification. One clear rule states that municipalities may not ban medical dispensaries, but may limit the number of operations within its borders.

Cannabis Facility Design & Security

It’s safe to assume these states will look to other states for guidance on the design of new compliance and regulation legislation. KL Security has worked with various cannabis companies nationwide of all sectors: craft growers, secure transporters, large scale grow operators, medicinal pharmacies, recreational dispensaries, etc. We have assisted license applicants in multiple states in their architectural and schematic design concepts and application. Whether you’re in the application process or construction planning phase, we are ready and willing to help make your operation successful by driving revenues while maintaining compliance.

Focus Areas:
  • Security Plans and Intelligent IP Camera Systems
  • Cash Safes and Cash Management
  • Cannabis Vaults & Secure Rooms
  • Transportation cages and security
  • BR Rated Glass Partitions and Display Cases
  • DEA Approved Security Safes

Call 866-867-0306 or email

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice. The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only.


Business Protections Against Fire | Cannabis Facilities

By Shelley Swearingen | September 29, 2020

Coastal Pacific states are currently battling raging wildfires. These western states are no stranger to fire, but the losses don’t always have to be catastrophic. Protecting cannabis dispensaries, pharmacies, growers, producers, and secure transporters from natural disasters is possible; it just takes planning.

Records Protection

Most states have laws requiring the digital tracking of product from seed to sale. Many states also require customer databases be kept & maintained to abide by quantity limits. This data is pertinent to stay within compliance and safeguards must be in place to protect this data. It’s also important to select servers that protect against fire AND water. A unit should be able to withstand the fire and the efforts to put out the fire.  

The ioSafe protects data from fire and water. It can withstand temperatures up to 1550°F for 30 minutes, and water submersion at 10 ft for up to 72 hours.  The internal capacity maxes out at 16TB, and it it’s compact in size: 12 inches high and weighs less than 30lbs.

Businesses, no matter how tech savvy they may be, will always need to store some hardcopies. For this reason, a traditional fire-safe file cabinet should be procured.

FireKing manufactures the best fireproof filing options available. Other brand names only offer half the fire safe protection. These cabinets are available in legal or letter size and multiple drawer options.

Chemical Storage

The cannabis industry is highly regulated. Growers & producers must abide by traditional guidelines for the safe storage of insecticides, pesticides, and other chemicals as well as cannabis specific regulations just to stay in compliance. 

Fire or other natural disasters can cause hazardous chemicals to turn deadly. If not stored properly, fire could cause ignition and explosion. The acquisition of proper storage can prevent against additional damage.

The AG400 is the best choice for the storage & safe handling of chemicals. This unit is rated to meet OSHA requirements and withstand up to 4 hours of fire.

Product Storage

Cannabis regulators are primarily concerned with safeguarding citizens against the proliferation of marijuana on the black market. For this reason, many businesses will implement security provisions that prevent surreptitious entry but may not prevent against mother nature.

There are various safes and vaults that can be manufactured to tailor to the specific needs of your business. Protect product from natural forces as well as theft.

Vault doors protect cash and product from diversion as well as natural disasters. Fallen trees could compromise the integrity of a traditional locked door thus enticing those that may wish to profit from your misfortune.  

For smaller quantities of product, a high security safe may suffice. This featured safe is manufactured with narcotic storage in mind – sure to pass compliance inspections. It’s also fire tested to 1850°.

No matter the scale or size of your operation…

KL Security can help facilitate compliance and protection. We’ve helped numerous cannabis facilities nationwide assemble license applications, maintain compliance standards, protect against diversion, and drive revenue. Our consultants are knowledgeable, experienced, and ready to assist.

Call 866-867-0306 or email

Information has been gathered from sources deemed reliable but not guaranteed and is subject to change without notice. The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only.

Arizona One Step Closer to Recreational Marijuana Market

By Shelley Swearingen | August 11, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marijuana Facility Security: How Much is Good Enough?

By Shelley Swearingen | July 14, 2020

Why is security so important?

Security protocols dictate how an organization plans to protect their employees. Security protocols set forth how a business will protect their bottom line. Cannabis security planning protocols establish how a facility will safeguard & protect inventory and cash. All of these plans and protocols affect the bottom line, and therefore should be on the forefront of every stakeholder’s mind.

A good security plan should:
Why do security guidelines vary from state to state?

            Cannabis is illegal at the federal level. In recent history, the federal government has stayed out of the way of states and allowed states to govern these sectors independently. This means that when marijuana is legalized within a state, the state government must create an entire market and all the rules and regulations that go along with it. Some states will look to other places that have implemented successful programs, and some just wing it.

            Some states have very little regulatory requirements when it comes to the operation of businesses, and certain areas of concern that are normally heavily regulated in other industries (like security) are barely glossed over in the legislation. This is due to the illegal status of the substance at the federal level. Many states anticipate marijuana becoming legal nationwide at some point. When this happens, no action would be needed as federal law supersedes state law.

Why is compliance so important?

            Staying compliant means staying operational. Facilities operating within a legal marijuana market are subject to random inspections. If a facility didn’t pass an inspection, it could be slapped with a hefty fine and/or forced to close until the infraction is brought up to standard. This means lost sales on top of expensive fines & the facility could take a hit to their reputation. Remember: a facility will never be fined for being too safe. It may seem daunting to spend (invest) a large sum into securing a facility, but down the road – it makes fiscal sense.

What implementations should a facility employ?

            From license application and project inception to completion, KL Security uses a holistic approach to help plan, create, design, and build compliant security solutions & systems to meet a business’s goals, brand, and mission. With successful projects in place in dispensaries, pharmacies, cultivation facilities, craft growing facilities, secure transporters, and testing facilities, the experts at KL Security have the experience to help facilities pass inspections, stay compliant, and drive revenue. Contact a consultant to see how KL Security can help simplify the process and provide successful results.

Call 866-867-0306 or email

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

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:
  2. Khazan, Olga. June 2, 2020. Why people loot. The Atlantic. Retrieved from:

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.

Medical Marijuana Licensing in Ohio

By Shelley Swearingen — March 20, 2020

In Ohio, marijuana is legal for approved patients as medicinal use. A patient must first visit a physician that holds an active Certificate to Recommend from the State Medical Board of Ohio. A list of qualifying physicians is available on the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program’s website.

After a patient has been recommended for the program by a physician, he/she will receive an email to log in to the patient registry. The patient will login, complete the application, and pay the fee assigned annually: $50 for patients and $25 for caregivers. Fee reductions are available for patients that qualify.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP) is regulated by the Ohio Department of Pharmacy. There are four licenses available for Cannabis businesses to obtain: Cultivator (Level I & Level II), Processor, Testing Laboratory, and Dispensary.

The OMMCP maintains a very helpful website with many resources for hopeful licensees. There are links to state legislation, downloadable applications, submitted applications of approved licensees, etc. The following is an excerpt from a dispensary application:

The application for each type of license is very in-depth and requires supporting documents for nearly every facet. KL Security has experience in developing security & surveillance plans for Cannabis companies applying for Ohio licensure.

KL Security has certified our solutions in numerous Medicinal Marijuana locations in Ohio. The facilities we developed security plans for were successful in acquiring a license. 

Armorstor MJ1212 Medical Cannabis Modular Vault Package Coupled with our built-to GSA Class 5 Vault Doors, our MJ1212 vault package is a complete solution designed to meet and exceed the regulations set forth in section 1301.72 of the Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations pursuant to DEA Diversion Control for the storage of Schedule I Narcotics. Our 4” thick high-density Class 1 Modular Vault Panels are equivalent to 12″ poured concrete with 3 layers of re-bar per ASTM specifications. Tested and approved under the UL 608 Vault Specification, these panels carry a 30 man-minute Forced Entry Rating.  GSA Approved Class 5 Vault Doors are used by the US Government and Military to store everything from Classified Information, Weapons, Narcotics as well as cash and valuables. GSA allows us to offer these same doors to the private sector, as long as we do not include the GSA Approved label. The DEA specifically calls out for a Group 1R Lock, which affords the Radiological protection requirements you will find in the Code of Regulations.  

TOLL FREE 1-866-867-0306 — OR —

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 and security measures taken directly from legislation: Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Law (HB 523)

Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program website found here.

Oklahoma Medicinal Marijuana Facility Regulations

The Medicinal Marijuana industry is booming in Oklahoma. The state has issued more than 6,500 business licenses1. This is due to the barriers to entry for cannabis entrepreneurs being much lower compared to other states. One common barrier to entry for any entrepreneur is the initial cost of security implementation.

Oklahoman legislators were vague in their description for physical security requirements:

This may seem preferable to a business owner, but the opposite may be true. Without guidance in regards to security implementation, a business may face unexpected costs down the line:

  1. If the regulatory agency (Oklahoma Medicinal Marijuana Authority, in this case) does not approve a proposed security plan within an application, the applicant will need to revise and supplement the plan.  This will affect deadlines and possible construction timelines.
  2. When cannabis is eventually legalized at the federal level, stricter regulations will be established. A business would incur profit losses from closure to modify the building to meet these standards as well as the cost of the security products themselves.
  3. In the worst-case scenario, criminals have assailed your business. They were able to obtain product, cash, and in the process have seriously injured your employees and/or customers. Not only did you accumulate loss immediately due to the stolen product and money, but there are additional costs:
    • Lost income from closing business for repairs/investigation
    • Fines imposed (if state-mandated guidelines were not employed)
    • Implementation of additional safeguards to prevent reoccurrence
    • Civil lawsuits incurred due to the injury of employees & customers

How’s the health & well-being of your operational protocols to deter diversion?

At KL Security, we have a proven track record for compliance with state laws and security requirements. Utilizing the Total Harvest Coverage methodology for security plans as well as cannabis business operation improvements, we have successful projects in facilities in multiple states, helping leaders in the cannabis industry drive revenue and stay compliant with state laws.

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

Legal information obtained from:

  1. Dishman, David. (2019, August 11). Oklahoma’s young marijuana industry’s growth exceeds expectations. The Oklahoman. Retrieved from:

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.

THC & Tennessee: Legislators Working to Legalize Marijuana


March 10, 2020

A bill was introduced to the Tennessee House of Representatives proposing the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use. The measure, House Bill 637, was introduced by Representatives Ron Travis & Jason Hodges.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act (House Bill 637) provides framework for establishing regulatory organizations, basic rules, approved conditions, and tax allocation.

You can read the bill in its entirety here.

January 28, 2020

Several politicians in Tennessee are diligently trying to bring the green market to the Smokey Mountains. A bill was drafted last year, but at the 11th hour decidedly not introduced. The authors felt the bill lacked support, and deemed more conversation was needed with various state agencies and departments to garner backing before bringing to the floor.


Earlier this month, medical marijuana supporters pleaded with law enforcement to support the law should it be brought forth. Police are struggling to reconcile federal law with hypothetical state law. Marijuana is still scheduled within the same class as Heroin federally, and possession over a ½ ounce in Tennessee is a felony3.


Yesterday, State Senator Raumesh Akbari filed a bill to legalize the sale of marijuana to all citizens over the age of 21. Historically, states will legalize marijuana for medicinal use first. This jumps this initial step and goes directly to the complete decriminalization and legal sale. Senator Akbari’s bill is exuberant and enthusiastic given the climate in Tennessee. Perhaps he’s hoping this bill will be the harbinger for change; even if it’s minimal compared to his current requests.


“Tennessee’s tough-on-crime possession laws have trapped too many of our citizens in cycles of poverty, and they haven’t actually stopped anyone from obtaining marijuana,” Akbari said, as quoted by the Memphis Flyer. “The enforcement of these laws in particular [has] cost our state billions, contributed to a black market that funds criminal organizations and accelerated the growth of incarceration in Tennessee’s jails and prisons. Tennesseans deserve better.” – Senator Raumesh Akbari, High Times Magazine 1


Senators Steve Dickerson and Janice Bowling are both vocal in their support for medical marijuana and have expressed intentions to introduce legislature in 2020. They will face obstruction from Governor Bill Lee; he opposes the legalization of marijuana for medical use.


The winds of change are sweeping the nation. Will Tennessee be among the next batch of states to enter the green rush? We shall soon see.


At KL Security, we have a proven track record for helping cannabis growers, processors, transportation and retail dispensaries with security planning and operational protocols to meet compliance with state laws and security requirements. Utilizing the Total Harvest Coverage methodology for cannabis facility security plans as well as cannabis business operation improvements, we have successful projects in facilities in multiple states, including the Midwest,  helping leading cannabis businesses and CRB meet state requirements for compliance in the ever changing world of cannabis legalization and decriminalization.



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


  1. Edward, Thomas. January 27, 2020. Tennessee Senator Files Bill to Allow Sale and Taxation of Marijuana. High Times Magazine. Retrieved from:
  2. Kelman, Brett. January 9, 2020. Medical marijuana advocates urge Tennessee police not to oppose new legislation. The Nashville Tennessean. Retrieved from: