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Commonly Overlooked Cannabis Compliance Issues

Cannabis Plants In Indoor Grow Facility

Cannabis, both hemp and marijuana, is heavily regulated by federal, state, and local laws. Unlike hemp, which was federally legalized in 2018 with the passage of the Farm Bill, the US government still classes marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug. Though many states have legalized recreation and/or medicinal marijuana, there is a regulatory patchwork to navigate. In addition to the legality of the plants themselves, cannabis entrepreneurs will find opening or expanding a facility comes with a variety of compliance issues related to life-safety, fire protection, zoning, storage, and energy use.

Common Cannabis Compliance Issues

Over many years in the industry, we’ve noticed patterns in the things that delay cannabis businesses from getting up and running quickly, things that keep cash flowing out instead of in.

Cannabis Facility Zoning

Cannabis facilities typically have special zoning restrictions particular to their jurisdiction. These requirements will differ depending on whether you have a grow or an extraction facility. For example. extraction involves volatile chemicals that cannot be co-located with a day care, medical clinic, or other places that might have concentrations of vulnerable people who would be difficult to evacuate in case of emergency. One of our past clients found this out the hard way, after having laid out money for a lab that could never be built. We recommend consulting with your local government to ensure your plans pass muster before making costly investments.

Cannabis Facility Safety

Extraction solvents like CID1 and CID2 chemicals are particularly dangerous, but cannabis facilities involve other safety issues too. Many facility owners choose to provide a CO2-enriched environment for their plants, increasing production. However, while a high concentration of CO2 is great for plants, it’s potentially deadly for humans. Fire protection, exhaust fans, and solvent storage are just a few of the things you need to consider as you bring your ideas into real facility. Consider consulting a cannabis engineer to ensure you’re implementing the right safety precautions.

Energy Use Requirements for Cannabis Facilities

Cannabis facilities can use enormous amounts of water and energy, and many jurisdictions are starting to require building owners to demonstrate energy efficiency or face large fines. The Northwest Power & Conservation Council estimated that grow rooms can consume 2-3000 kilowatt hours per pound of product. Our mechanical and electrical teams are efficiency experts and can help you minimize your costs and meet energy efficiency requirements without giving up the results you need and can help you plan for more stringent codes in the years to come.

Cannabis Compliance Experts

Cannabis engineers like CE+C can help you meet code and permitting requirements while optimizing your throughput and product quality. With more than 65 facility builds and upgrades, we are one of the most experienced cannabis firms in the nation. Visit our services page to learn more.

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