The Importance of Cannabis Facility Design
Your cannabis extraction and processing facility is the heart of your business–the profit center–so you want it operating at peak efficiency. That means all of the systems need to function together including your industrial ventilation, plumbing, fire suppression, security, power, and life safety. Your location and the extraction equipment you choose also play critical roles in the success of your cannabis business.
We’ve worked at more than 65 different facilities in our years of supporting businesses like yours, and we’d like to share a few things we’ve learned.
Cannabis Facility Equipment Design
Your extraction equipment can determine your solvents or vice versa. There are too many factors for a short article, so we suggest that you speak with an expert to help you make the decision that best fits your business model. The cannabis industry has grown considerably as more states legalize recreational marijuana, and that means you have a wider choice of certified equipment than you would have had even a few years ago. This is great news, because uncertified equipment can mean that you don’t get your occupancy permit, making it a very expensive mistake.
While having a wealth of choices is great, it also complicates your research. Make sure your plans include ample time to gather information and review your options and the impacts they will have over several years.
How your Location Influences your Cannabis Extraction Facility Design
Real Estate Agents are always saying, “Location, location, location!” and this is particularly true for your extraction facility. While many local jurisdictions welcome cannabis businesses, some do not and can make your permitting process difficult. Equally important is the local Fire Marshal and the way that they interpret the relevant fire and safety codes. Local interpretations vary to a surprising degree, and you would do well to speak to the Marshal in the area where you plan to build. Permitting requirements can also vary, causing confusion for facility owners. Commissioning services are essential to ensure your facility works properly and conforms to local requirements.
CE+C Tip: If you are purchasing or leasing an existing building, you need to be aware of how close it is to the property line, which may impact how you can set up your building. Some storage and processes may have required setbacks. You should also consider close or co-located businesses, as you may not be allowed to have an extraction facility near other types of facilities, like schools for example.
Variable Requirements for Cannabis Extraction Facility Design
It’s not just the jurisdiction that you need to pay attention to, either. Any time there are volatile compounds involved in your process, you have very specific and non-negotiable setbacks and storage requirements. There are other requirements as well, for example, fire codes will probably not allow you to build a facility that is co-located with a facility that caters to people with limited mobility, such as daycares or medical centers. Most of the laws make good sense when you understand the reasons behind them, but there are likely to be things that you would not think to consider without doing considerable initial research.
The right cannabis facility design is crucial for throughput and profit.
How CE+C Can Help with your Cannabis Facility
At CE+C, we’ve been designing and engineering cannabis extraction facilities since 2016. We understand the essential safety features in extraction labs, and our deep knowledge of the industry means we’ll incorporate design elements that will maximize your production and profit. Whether you’re concerned about solvent usage or industrial ventilation, we can help. We design extraction facilities from pre-design development through to permitting and commissioning. Contact us to learn more.