While widespread cannabis use may seem like a relatively new idea, cannabis use has been around in the world longer than most modern countries. Methods of application and consumption vary, but cannabis has long been used recreationally, medicinally, and religiously throughout the ancient world and up through the present.
Written records of cannabis use are rather limited, but researchers believe that ancient cannabis was consumed orally or by burning and inhaling the dried plants for medicinal or religious purposes. While scientists disagree on when cannabis use truly began, most believe that people began to use the plant sometime between 2000 to 500 B.C.E. – but exact dates and locations are widely debated.
Many scientists believe that evidence found in central Eurasia indicate the region may have seen the plant’s earliest introduction into civilization around 500 B.C.E. Cannabis is indigenous to the cool, wet, mountainous regions of modern-day China, but it remains unknown when people began to cultivate the plant to increase THC levels. Recent discoveries of cannabis remnants in burial sites in northwest China imply medicinal or ritualistic use, but more research would be necessary to truly understand cannabis’ role in these ancient societies.
Some researchers believe that cannabis use may have begun even earlier in Mesopotamia, a region of Western Asia where modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey reside. Relying only on the written word of clay tablets dated as far back as 1000 B.C.E., many believe the cuneiform (an ancient form of written language) describes cannabis’ use in medicine to treat depression and other ailments, as well as its use in incense for religious ceremonies. These records also indicate that products of the plant may have been traded with Egypt and Judaea.
It is believed that cannabis may have been introduced to the Mesopotamians by the peoples of modern-day Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, where their early religion of Zoroastrianism utilized cannabis in ceremonial drinks between 2000-700B.C.E. From here, cannabis and cannabis-infused religious drinks were exported along the Silk Road, finding their way to India, Egypt, and throughout Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.
Ancient Indian writing indicates that the earliest use of cannabis medicinally began around 1600 B.C.E. for anxiety and other conditions. Hieroglyphics found in Egypt predate many other cultures and suggest cannabis or hemp use in pharmaceuticals as early as 2350 B.C.E.
Some researchers believe that the Bible and other Hebrew texts also indicate cannabis’ use before the Common Era in Judaea and the Roman Empire as early as 900-800 B.C.E. Cannabis may have been an ingredient in holy incense and anointing oils mentioned in Exodus, and other Hebrew texts contain recipes for cannabis-infused wine.
The Greek historian Herodotus also wrote about the plant’s various uses around 500 B.C.E. He described the Scythian nomads, who frequently traveled along the Silk Road, who inhaled cannabis burned on hot coals inside tents. Cannabis use spread throughout Ancient Greece for use recreationally, medicinally, and religiously where artifacts found in temples and burial sites seem to confirm Herodotus’ accounts.
While much is still unknown about early cultures’ uses of cannabis, recent discoveries and historical texts make it evident that cannabis has been an integral part of many ancient people’s cultures, religions, and lives. Although modern society is slowly warming up to widespread acceptance of cannabis, the historical uses of the plant offer insight into its rebirth as a pharmaceutical treatment and recreational substance.
Door hardware is an important aspect of every security plan, yet it is often overlooked. Door hardware technology and equipment has advanced drastically in the past century and new developments are frequently entering the market. One well-known company that has been at the forefront of these innovations is Schlage, a brand from Allegion. This year, Schlage is celebrating 100 years of door hardware innovations, from the original door lock in 1909 to the electronic locking mechanisms that have now become commonplace. Thank you for your contributions to the security industry!
Check out some of Schlage's greatest contributions to door hardware below or read the full article here.
Security technology is constantly advancing – especially in the cannabis industry. The cannabis industry has only been around legally for a few years, but, like other high-risk businesses, cannabis business owners are having to learn to proactively monitor and enhance their facility’s security.
Some recent innovations and emerging technologies are changing the ways that cannabis businesses secure their products and facilities. Many of these promising technologies are implemented to strengthen physical security, augment cybersecurity measures, and improve business productivity and efficiency. Designed for high-risk businesses like jewelry stores, these technological advancements are well suited to impact the rapidly expanding cannabis industry.
Video Surveillance as a Service
Many external alarm monitoring companies are also contracted to monitor video surveillance, and cannabis businesses are already required by law to house surveillance equipment and onsite (and sometimes additionally off-site) archives of footage. But this service is only valuable if someone is watching the footage in real-time.
Oftentimes the use of a third-party monitoring company is beneficial. As an already established workforce, these professionals will have already completed training and will have developed best practices and procedures. Outsourcing this service can provide workers without the need for internal HR concerns or insurance issues and can be financially beneficial for many companies.
Although it can be beneficial, the use of third-party monitoring companies is not without its vulnerabilities. It is possible that the third-party company may have a less than reliable operator behind the surveillance controls. And if a burglary occurs, the consequences are on the business’ end and not the third-party. To avoid this potentially detrimental scenario, it would be wise to vet the provider and perhaps speak personally with current or former clients.
Robots and Drones
Drones and robots are showing up in several industries, not only as a supplement to the existing workforce, but also as a replacement for a human employee. Some jobs or tasks are too dangerous to risk human lives (i.e. bomb diffusion), and other jobs can simply be done more efficiently by a robot (i.e. analytical tasks). While drones and robots are still in the early stages, it’s likely that these will become increasingly common in the workplace soon.
While robots are less common in the cannabis industry, businesses like Amazon are already using them for automated retrieval systems and limited deliveries. As the technology advances, their implementation into the cannabis industry could apply to checking in customers and visitors and verifying IDs, managing and controlling inventories, and even cannabis deliveries.
Drones have already made a strong entrance into the cannabis industry, specifically for outdoor cultivations and grows. Drones can effectively monitor security by conducting risk assessments of a property or facility and checking for signs of break-ins or damage quickly without employees physically traveling acres of farmland or into potentially dangerous situations. Drones can also be used to manage crops by counting plants, monitoring plant maturity and growth, or spraying fields. Higher tech drones with AI can also use “Smart Farming” to scan for surface indicators of stress or molds, use analytics to determine cannabis strains, and identify optimal planting and harvest opportunities.
Deep Analytical Tools
Deep analytics occurs when large amounts of information, often from multiple sources, is analyzed and organized to provide key insights into an individual user, group of users, or company as a whole. Deep analytics produces vast amounts of data which can improve everything from a business’ security to its productivity.
Deep analytics can be applied to improve physical security by implementing an additional layer of verification on access-controlled doors and devices. Most cannabis facilities are required by state regulations to implement access control on means of ingress and use either keypads with individual codes or a physical identification card to be swiped. Although unique to each user, compromised user credentials are often the cause of illegal criminal access to restricted facilities. Physical identification cards can be lost or misplaced and codes can be shared, but access systems that analyze additional information to verify authentication when a card or keypad is used offer an extra layer of protection.
Analytics is also starting to be utilized as a means of threat detection and could drastically change the way cannabis businesses secure their facilities. A smart analytics system can use video surveillance to create profiles for employees, customers, and vendors and can examine their actions to identify risky behaviors and potential threats. It’s nearly impossible for any security team to monitor all concerns at all times, but integrating a smart system can improve the ability to detect threats before they occur and can be used following an event to investigate an incident much more efficiently.
Even if a facility is burglarized while security personnel are not on the premises, deep analytics systems are immediately working to apprehend the suspects using user identification and threat detection capabilities. Some systems also utilize smart objects, like GPS enabled containers, that are triggered by removal from the facility and ping their location every few seconds.
Deep analytics creates an extra layer of protection that can secure a facility no matter the time. As technology evolves and the capabilities of potential thieves increases, it becomes even more important to use every tool available to create a secure environment.
Since security technology is continuously advancing, it is important for business owners in the cannabis industry, as well as other high-risk businesses, to monitor these advancements and look for ways to implement them. In the security world, it is better to be proactive than to wait for an incident or robbery to occur. Cannabis business owners shouldn’t rely on existing equipment to secure their valuable products, employees, and facilities, but should constantly be looking for emerging technologies and new ways to stay safe and stay profitable.
One hundred years ago on January 17, the United States federal government instituted a ban on alcohol, issuing in a 13-year era known as the “Prohibition Period.” Largely considered a political failure, 1920-1933 saw increases in organized crime, federal prison populations, and drug usage.
This time period also saw the ban of another kind of drug: cannabis. Between 1916 and 1931, 29 states in the US had outlawed cannabis, and in 1937 the Marijuana Tax Act banned it nation-wide. Although the prohibition of cannabis has lasted far longer than the ban on alcohol, it has seen many of the same societal consequences that the ban on alcohol produced.
During Prohibition, street thugs replaced legitimate bars, but as more and more money kept pouring in, they had to quickly get organized. Prohibition prompted the formation of organized crime in major cities and the demand for illegal alcohol became so high that mobsters like Al Capone earned upwards of $100 million per year.
Similar to the way organized crime flourished during the prohibition on alcohol, organized criminal groups, such as the Cartels, have benefited financially from the ban on cannabis. Operating in a market where legal businesses have been barred, organized crime has been able to set the prices for cannabis products and pocket the income, while the United States is unable to regulate or collect the potential the tax revenue. Even now, illegal cartels earn billions of dollars per year distributing black market cannabis in the United States alone.
Although the reach of these criminal cartels is global, the federal illegality of cannabis in the US is an inviting market for cartels and gangs coming from Latin America. As much as 30% of cartel revenue came from illegal cannabis sales, but since states have begun to legalize, cannabis prices and demand have decreased – much to the dismay of would-be black market cannabis distributors.
Federal Prison Populations
Although alcohol’s “Prohibition Period” saw a decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed in the US, it also issued in an increase in federal prison populations. According to economist Mark Thornton, by 1932 the federal prison population saw an increase of 366% compared to pre-prohibition prison populations, and approximately two-thirds of all prisoners in 1930 were convicted of alcohol and drug prohibition violations.
The ban on cannabis has seen similar consequences, with over 8 million cannabis arrests reported between 2001-2010. Of those arrests, around 88% of those were for possession only, rather than drug trafficking or distribution. Approximately $3 billion dollars per year are spent by states attempting to enforce cannabis laws and according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, drug offenses significantly surpass other imprisonable offenses in terms of incarceration.
The prohibition of alcohol also saw an increase in harsher alternative drug usage, with drug usage often determined by what drugs are available to the consumer. An example of this can be found in modern counties in the United States which choose to continue prohibition practices. Although alcohol has now been legalized for almost a century, some counties, more common in southern states like Kentucky or Oklahoma, are designated as ‘dry’ and prohibit alcohol sales, and in some cases consumption. Some research indicates that although alcohol consumption in these counties may be down, use of other drugs, e.g. meth, are increased.
Similarly, research on cannabis usage and availability has seen comparable results. In areas where cannabis is illegal or unavailable, indications in the rise of synthetic cannabinoid usage has been detected. Synthetic cannabinoids, which promise to mirror the effects of cannabis and are rumored to be legal and fail to show up on drug tests, have dangerous side effects and usage has even resulted in multiple deaths. Other research has suggested that cannabis legalization has the opposite effect and may actually decrease use of other drugs. States with legal medical marijuana programs have seen a substantial decrease in the number of doctor prescribed opiates and a reduction in opioid deaths by almost 25%.
Prohibition may also be to blame for the increases in THC potency of cannabis products on the market. The prohibition on alcohol produced similar increases in the potency of alcohol, with pre-prohibition alcohol sales comprising mostly of beer, while alcohol sales during prohibition were primarily high-potency, concentrated whiskeys and liquors. As the product becomes harder to distribute and risks increase, it becomes beneficial to condense or concentrate the product because the smaller the merchandise, the easier it is to smuggle and circulate. While almost every drug on the market has seen an increase in potency, it is notable that these increases may have been spurred by the drug’s illegal status and prohibition.
Future of Prohibition
Even though legalization of cannabis is becoming more common, it is likely that some areas will not welcome cannabis use and will continue prohibition practices. Although the prohibition of alcohol ended decades ago, some areas in the United States still hold onto the era’s laws a century later. This will likely be the case with cannabis as well. Though Colorado is widely regarded as a haven for cannabis use, 37 of the state’s 64 counties ban cannabis businesses altogether.
While the future of cannabis prohibition in the United States is yet to be seen, there are significant parallels between cannabis and alcohol bans. While alcohol consumption decreased, alcohol’s “Prohibition Period” instigated considerable societal drawbacks — many of which translate to the prohibition of cannabis. As states continue to legalize, some of these drawbacks will fade away, but it’s likely that cannabis prohibition will have left its mark on the United States for many years to come.
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With 2020 elections approaching, it's beginning to look like cannabis laws and legalization could be a hot-button issue. Last week, a hearing entitled “Cannabis Policies for the New Decade” was held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. During this legislative hearing, both Republican and Democratic representatives and witnesses from the FDA and DEA discussed cannabis’ health benefits and potential changes to current federal policy.
Currently, cannabis is illegal in any form under federal law, but since enforcement is left primarily to the states and since state cannabis laws vary wildly, it is easy to become confused over what is legal and what is not. Cannabis laws are almost always in a state of flux and have become a major issue for many voters. But before the 2020 elections kick-off, it’s important to review federal cannabis laws that are being considered and how different candidate’s policies stack up.
Here’s a look at five acts in consideration:
Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act
This act removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for legal businesses. It also creates a trust fund for women/minority-based business assistance, establishes marketing restrictions to protect children, and provides grants to expunge convictions.
SAFE Banking Act
This bipartisan act, which passed in the House of Representatives in November, eases banking and insurance restrictions for cannabis businesses. It removes the ability of federal banking regulators from penalizing financial institutions for conducting business with a company in the cannabis industry. One of the reasons that cannabis businesses are considered high-risk is because of the substantial amounts of cash that they typically have on hand due to current banking limitations. This act could alleviate this problem and help establish safer environments for the dispensing of cannabis.
This act eliminates regulatory controls and administrative, civil, and criminal penalties under the Controlled Substances Act for marijuana-related conduct and activities that are authorized by state or tribal law, subject to specified exceptions. This act would leave cannabis legalization up to the states and would prevent federal interventions.
Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act
This act decriminalizes cannabis at the federal level and allows for states to regulate as they see fit. This act, which has bipartisan support, would also allow physicians with the Veteran’s Administration to make medical marijuana recommendations in states were cannabis has been legalized and will incentivize states to enact expungement policies for previous cannabis convictions.
Marijuana Justice Act
This act initiates Federal decriminalization of cannabis and the expungement of all federal cannabis possession convictions. This act would also create a $500 million fund for “community reinvestment” for job training in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis arrests.
There are monumental changes being proposed in the world of legal cannabis, but their success and ability to become law is yet to be seen. While most boast bipartisan support, voters may wonder how 2020 candidates plan to address the issue.
The Democratic Front Runners
In contrast with many of his fellow democrats, Biden supports federal decriminalization, rather than full legalization. He is in favor of downgrading cannabis from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug (on par with drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine) under the Controlled Substance Act in to allow for further research to be conducted. While he may not support full legalization, he does support the immediate expungement of cannabis possession convictions and allowing states to enact their own recreational-use laws.
Was the first to announce his support for legalization as a candidate in 2015. He signed in support of the Marijuana Justice Act and has voiced support of multiple bills that aim to legalize.
As a sponsor of the STATES Act and co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act, she supports cannabis legalization and has previously said, “we should legalize it nationally.”
Supports legalization and has stated that “the safe, regulated, and legal sale of marijuana is an idea whose time has come for the United States."
The Republican Front Runners
Long held support for legalization, supporter of the STATES Act, and is currently on the Board of Directors for Acreage Holdings, a Marijuana and Cannabis Investment Firm. He has previously said, “I think it’s a states’ rights issue… I think it should be state-by-state. I just don’t think the federal government should mandate one-size-fits-all, either negative or positive.”
Though during his campaign, he was only in support of medical legalization, shortly after being sworn in President Trump announced that he would likely fully support the STATES Act. Since then, he has stated his support for decriminalization with the states deciding on legalization. As federal cannabis policy is becoming a pressing issue for the 2020 elections, some wonder if this may impact his position. With many of his competitors in support of legalization, it’s possible he may lean this way in coming months, or take a harder stance against cannabis legalization at the federal level.
With cannabis legalization receiving bipartisan support, it may only be a matter of time before federal cannabis policy is passed. So far, 33 states (plus the District of Columbia) have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana and another 11 states have legalized adult-use recreational cannabis. While the legislative hearing last week was a positive step toward federal cannabis policy being enacted, only time will tell the future of the cannabis industry in the United States.
Despite $10 million in sales within the first five days of legal recreational cannabis, not every dispensary in Illinois is reaping in the benefits.
More than $100,000 in cash was stolen from Chicago dispensary MOCA Modern Cannabis on January 6. The burglary occurred around 3 a.m. when dispensary was closed for the night, so no staff or security personal were on-site at the facility.
What do we know?
Law enforcement officials do not believe that this burglary was random. It is possible that the multiple burglars that broke into the dispensary were familiar with the facility and may have used a legitimate keycard to enter through an access-controlled door.
MOCA may also have had more cash on-site than regular operations would normally permit. The dispensary was completely closed to recreational customers the day before the burglary due to high sales and a need to restock inventory. If the burglars did have intimate knowledge of the facility, they may have targeted that particular night due to the increased cash volume.
Illinois cannabis legislation requires 24/7 video surveillance and cannabis and cash storage within reinforced vaults. At this time, it is unclear how the burglars bypassed these security measures, but modern security systems and better utilization of active systems may have been able to prevent this crime.
How could this have been prevented?
Although the doors were connected to an access control system, suspects were still able to gain access to the dispensary at the early morning hour. If the burglars did indeed use a company-issued key card to enter, this burglary could still been prevented by scheduled access, which allows or restricts access by time, date, and/or person. This system could also be installed on the safe or vault locking mechanism, for which their intrusion method is unclear.
This security system permits owners to schedule access, only allowing access when necessary and restricting access to sensitive areas. Scheduling for access can be intertwined with shifts. For example, if an employee only works Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm, then the system would only allow access for this employee during this timeframe. If the same employee were to return at night or on the weekend, the card reader would deny entry and log the failed attempt.
If scheduled access had been in place, the burglars may not have been able to enter the dispensary, even with a legitimate or successfully copied access key card. Although the burglars may have identified a second method to enter, this system would have delayed entry and could have even notified the dispensary’s management that an unauthorized attempt to open the side door was made. It is also crucial that missing or lost key cards be reported to management and deauthorized.
Scheduled access control is just one of many important components of a successful security plan. When it comes to protecting valuables, retail businesses should use every tool available because owners never know when crimes may occur.
Authors: Tony Gallo and Katharine Baxter
Tony Gallo is the Managing Partner for Sapphire Risk Advisory Group, LLC with over 30 years in the Security, Audit, Safety, and Risk/Emergency Management fields. Tony has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from New Jersey City University and is a licensed Security Consultant. Tony is a published author on cannabis security and has spoken at numerous cannabis business conferences across the United States. He is considered one of the leading authorities in cannabis and financial loan service security, focusing on armed robbery, burglary, and loss prevention.
Photo from mjbizconference.com
In the security industry, there are two conferences experts don’t want to miss: The International Security Conference and Exposition, commonly known as ISC West, and the ASIS Global Security Exchange. Security professionals converge at these annual events where they can network with other professionals, discover new products and emerging technologies, and learn about the latest industry trends. The Security Industry Association and ASIS set the standards for security training and knowledge and their events attract tens of thousands of people in North America and around the world.
But these events aren’t the only places for security experts to convene. For those security experts interested in or engaged in the quickly evolving cannabis industry, there’s arguably an even more important conference to attend: MJBizCon.
This conference, hosted by Marijuana Business Daily, has occurred annually since 2012 and has increased in size every year. In 2019, the conference, which was held on December 11-13, attracted 33,000 people- more than ISC West’s 30,000 attendees and ASIS GSX’s 22,000 attendees.
While one may conjure up images of everyone in a circle smoking, the conference actually had more ties than tie dye. Business professionals in suit jackets or heels lined the busy hallways between the exhibits. If it weren’t for the multitude of cannabis-shaped and -themed pens, necklaces, and memorabilia, one might not know this group of industry experts was meeting about cannabis.
The cannabis industry values security higher than most retail and manufacturing spaces due to demanding regulations and the risks of black-market diversion. Almost all careers in the cannabis industry deal with security in some capacity. The conference, which was not specifically for cannabis security professionals, drew experts from all corners of the cannabis industry, allowing for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer connections.
MJBizCon filled the Las Vegas Convention Center with 1,300 exhibitors – more than last year’s ISC West’s 950 exhibitors and ASIS GSX’s 550 exhibitors. Spread out over 250,000 square feet, the 2019 conference beat its previous record in terms of attendance, exhibitions, and overall size and was the event of the year for cannabis business professionals.
While it has only been around for 8 years, MJBizCon has also already established an international presence with International, European, and Latin Symposiums scheduled for this year. Although similar in size, ISC West and ASIS likely have MJBizCon beat on both name recognition and scope. ISC has been a well-known brand for over 50 years and their reach extends domestically and globally with events in Dallas, New York, Mexico City, and Brazil. Similarly, ASIS has been around for over 60 years and has conferences scheduled around the world, including Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Businesses involved in the cannabis industry from cultivators to dispensary chains to law firms to marketing agencies make this conference a priority, even established companies that have been around longer than the newly legalized industry has. In 2019, the conference attracted larger security companies like Ameristar Perimeter Security and FireKing Security Group, while also attracting smaller regional companies or investors just trying to start out in this blossoming industry. No matter the role in cannabis, everyone would agree that attending this show was invaluable to their career in the industry.
MJBizCon connects an entire industry of professionals in much the same way as conferences like ISC West and ASIS GSX. It may not have been around as long, but every indication shows that MJBizCon has become the go-to show for anyone looking to invest time into the cannabis industry.
Applications were released today for the Illinois Craft Grow, Infuser, and Transportation Organization Licenses. The Illinois Department of Agriculture will begin accepting applications on February 14, 2020, and all applications must be submitted by March 16, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
At Sapphire Risk Advisory Group, we assisted several clients with security plans for the Illinois Dispensary round. Now we are ready to help you expand your cannabis enterprise or give you the edge you need to win your first license in a competitive state!
The applications are broken into 12 scored exhibits for a total of 1000 possible points.
Aside from Applicant Social Equity Status, the most emphasis has been placed on Exhibit C.) Security Plan and Recordkeeping, worth 145 points.
According to the Illinois Craft Grow and Infuser Applications, the sections will be scored as the following:
Exhibit A.) Suitability of the Proposed Facility (50 pages; 75 points)
Exhibit B.) Suitability of Employee Training Plan (15 pages + handbook; 50 points)
Exhibit C.) Security Plan and Recordkeeping (65 pages; 145 points)
Exhibit D.) Infusing Plan (50 pages; 75 points) or Exhibit D.) Cultivation Plan (50 pages; 75 points)
Exhibit E.) Product Safety and Labeling Plan (55 pages; 95 points)
Exhibit F.) Business Plan and Services to be Offered (60 pages; 110 points)
Exhibit G.) Status as a Social Equity Applicant (no page limit, 200 points)
Exhibit H.) Applicant’s Labor and Employment Practices (10 pages; 20 points)
Exhibit I.) Environmental Plan (10 pages; 20 points)
Exhibit J.) Illinois Resident Controlled or Owned (no page limit; 90 points)
Exhibit K.) Veteran Controlled or Owned (no page limit; 20 points)
Exhibit L.) Diversity Plan (2500 words; 100 points)
Exhibit M.) Optional Bonus Section: 3 categories (10 pages per category; 2 points per category)
The thoroughness and quality of these sections could allow you to open your business – or prevent you from opening at all if you’re unprepared.
Not sure what to do or unsure on where to start? Hire an expert consultant with experience in the cannabis industry!
Sapphire Risk Advisory Group has written over 300 city/state applications for dispensaries and cultivation facilities in 24 states, including Illinois in the dispensary round. Our professionally written security sections have received an average score of 94%. Additionally, we have managed the build outs of 60 successful cannabis businesses and trained several staffs on security awareness and protocols.
Let our success be your success! How can we help you open your business?
Illinois Craft Grower and Infuser Applications
For the Illinois application, we are prepared to write the entirety of Exhibit C.) Security Plan and Recordkeeping. This section is worth 145 points, or 14.5% of your entire cannabis application. This section is broken into 4 measures that break down the point values for the Applicant’s plan for diversion prevention and communication with law enforcement, record keeping and inventory control, description of enclosed, locked facility, and compliant transportation and delivery plan.
This section has a high page limit of 65 pages, and historically, the highest scoring applications are near or at this mark.
Our experience and expertise is also applicable for some security-adjacent sections and services. For the Illinois application we are equipped to assist with Exhibit B.) Suitability of the Employee Training Plan and the recall plan portion of Exhibit E.) Product Safety and Labeling Plan. We can also contribute security elements to the Local Community/Neighborhood Report portion of the Exhibit M.) Optional Bonus Section.
Unlike the previous dispensary applications, a proposed physical location for your facility is required to successfully apply. Another difference is that the state is not requiring a signed contract with a licensed private security contractor or guard agency for Illinois Craft Grow, Infuser, or Transportation Organization applications.
It’s a lot of work, so don’t do it alone! Connect with us today for a free consultation and let us help you succeed in the cannabis industry.
Almost every state has legalized cannabis to some extent, whether that be for medical or recreational use. But as cannabis businesses become more common, prejudices remain, and sometimes local officials and the communities they represent fight back. Although legal cannabis use is becoming more prevalent, communities still hold lingering fears of cannabis businesses increasing crime, turning suburban neighborhoods into crime-infested areas. But are these concerns justified or just rooted in bias?
The pushback against legal marijuana dispensaries and businesses has been a major barrier for some business owners looking to open facilities. Many laws in place limit the locations for potential cannabis businesses, and often getting a location approved by the zoning committee can be the most difficult process. Although the reasoning behind the laws will vary, most ordinances were enacted by local officials trying to look out for their community and its interests. Resolute anti-marijuana voices may always exist, but typically restrictions are created out of misguided concern over the impact on community security and safety.
Cannabis is considered a high-risk business, similar to a bar or jewelry store. High-risk businesses are defined as those with highly valuable merchandise and a large sum of cash that may cause temptation for criminals or promote crime. But, according to a study published in the Regional Science and Urban Economics academic journal, building cannabis dispensaries actually lowered crime rates by 19% per 10,000 residents.
The study evaluated data in the city of Denver and described the reduction in crime as ‘significant,’ and estimated a decrease of 17 crimes per month per 10,000 residents. Although the research was limited in geographical breadth, it suggests that this decline in crime could translate to a more widespread decline in crime as legalization becomes more extensive.
The results of the study also indicated that adding dispensaries significantly decreased the number of nonviolent crimes in a neighborhood by 93%. The evidence also maintained that legal cannabis dispensaries did not cause an increase in cannabis-related crime.
Although cannabis businesses are considered high-risk, they differ greatly from liquor stores or pawn shops in how they are built, managed, and secured to deter criminal activity. Cannabis businesses are extremely tightly regulated and owners must prove worth and intent before they are licensed and approved to open.
There are considerably fewer barriers to open a convenience store, which may have cameras, lights, and warnings posted to discourage crime on property. But unlike a convenience store, cannabis businesses are at risk of having their license revoked if those warnings are not enforced. This results in owners that are more proactive about preventing crime on their premises.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for communities to shake their fears that decades of illicit cannabis sales will lead to a criminal presence in their neighborhood. They fear that a lawful dispensary will act as a beacon for crooks and felons or inspire locals to new heights of illegal behavior. Local officials and the people they protect fear that teenagers and children will gain access to cannabis more easily, that shady individuals will loiter in parking lots, or that cannabis products will tempt vandals and increase crime rates.
But, since recent statistics suggest that cannabis dispensaries actually promote a decrease in the crime rate, how can well-meaning communities and local officials be convinced to allow more cannabis businesses in their area? The answer is likely found in conducting more studies, applying traditional crime metrics to well-recognized areas with legal cannabis activity, with accuracy increasing as legalization expands.
While more research is certain to be conducted as marijuana legalization spreads, it may take time before all public officials and communities welcome cannabis businesses into their neighborhoods. Nevertheless, studies such as these serve as a great tool to advocates and entrepreneurs who seek to engage their local leaders and elected officials with legitimacy and confidence.
Authors: Tony Gallo and Katharine Baxter
Results for Missouri Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility Applications are finally out! We were happy we could help our clients succeed among such tough competitors. In this round, every point counted! Only 1.2 points separated an awarded license from one that was denied. The difference between winning and losing was only 0.08%! Of 1600 points, 1479.41 were required to win, or a minimum score of 92%. This is an excellent example of what we tell our clients across multiple states- you have to go for every point because every point counts!