Environmental Permitting and Notification Requirements
The quickly maturing legal hemp and cannabis industry requires participants to be aware of (1) new rules or changes in regulations in their home states and in the states in which they do business, and (2) how these changes may affect their businesses operations, and (3) what permits may be needed to comply with these requirements. Failure to comply with overlapping local, state, and federal regulations can be devastating to hemp and cannabis businesses and their owners, workers, and customers. Potential consequences include high financial costs, serious harm to human health and the environment, and federal and/or state enforcement actions. Our team’s expertise will minimize your risk to the enforcement-driven consequence for failure to comply with these constantly -changing permitting rules and regulations. For example, here are some of the Federal regulatory programs that can revolve around these overlapping and sometimes conflicting laws and their implementing regulations:
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, & Liability Act (CERCLA)
CERCLA requires notification to the National Response Center whenever a reportable amount of a listed “hazardous substance” is released in addition to determining liability for past improper disposal and handling of hazardous materials and wastes.
Clean Air Act (CAA) Emergency Planning & Right-To-Know Act (EPRCRA)
The CAA regulates toxic air pollutants from categories of industrial facilities such as cannabis or hemp facilities in the commercial production, processing, and extraction chain.
Clean Water Act (CWA)
The CWA requires industrial facilities that discharge into a public sanitary sewer system to have a permit. A permit is also required for waste streams such as industrial process water discharged into waters of the United States.
Emergency Planning & Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA)
EPCRA requires industry to report on the storage, use, and releases of hazardous substances to federal, state, and local governments.
Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, & Rodenticide act (FIFRA)
FIFRA violations include the unlawful distribution, sale, and misuse of pesticides (including the Worker Protection Standard), importing pesticides into the United States, and not complying with state and local regulations.
Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA)
RCRA ensures the current and future safe management and cleanup of solid and hazardous waste, and programs that encourage source reduction and beneficial reuse. As hemp and cannabis growers scale up, their operations are increasingly likely to generate large amounts of solid and hazardous waste.
Unlawful pesticide use by hemp and cannabis growers result in toxic pesticide residues throughout the supply chain in all types of hemp and cannabis products create harmful worker exposure and dangerous pesticide drift situations and contaminates land and water resources. Until pesticides are registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, companies must only use state-approved pesticides or risk an enforcement action and possible product seizure, recall, and destruction. Product liability concerns due to pesticide contamination are an increasing liability problem for the industry. Please see below for more details on how the pesticide law will apply to your business:
Protecting growers and others in the production chain from exposure to federal or state enforcement actions for misuse of pesticides by: (1) determining what conduct and activity are legal and what is not, and the potential civil and criminal liability of growers, processors, retailers and others from the illegal use of pesticides; (2) identifying which pesticides may legally be used at your facilities; and (3) quickly assessing next steps if your facility is the target of a federal (or state) compliance inspection, information collection request, or enforcement action.
We help protect your valuable plants by identifying options for pesticide use in compliance with federal and state requirements. We work with states to promote pesticide-free products, convincing EPA to approve a statutory emergency or other exemption and coordinating strategic opportunities with pesticide producers.
We efficiently audit your indoor and/or outdoor facilities for compliance with federal and state worker protection standards.
We assist in determining if your hemp and cannabis products meet federal and state testing standards by: (1) assessing your lab’s skills and capabilities and sampling and analysis procedures; (2) performing third-party internal audits to provide a neutral check of laboratory performance and meeting the requirements of ISO 17025:2017; and (3) complying with state certification programs such as California’s Proposition 65 to avoid liability by growers, producers, retailers, and dispensaries. requires industry to report on the storage, use, and releases of hazardous substances to federal, state, and local governments.
Technology, Innovation, and Best Practices
Companies that provide technological-based solutions and innovations to each stage of the cannabis and hemp industry are increasingly impacting the marketplace and your bottom-line. We offer cannabis and hemp technology companies guidance as they design and roll out products that meet health, environmental, and consumer protection standards and the needs of their partners – be they growers, scientists, or patients/users.
We provide these companies and investors guidance for investments, acquisitions, and technology transfers – at home and abroad. The potential for international ventures that can leverage differences to create better products for industry players and consumers is an area of immense interest.
We are developing a platform for sustainability and climate change-driven issues featuring a market-driven certification standard to propel the adoption of environmental and/or energy-efficient grow techniques.
Other Requirements - Labeling, Licensing
Examples of some state requirements include but are not limited to:
– “Prop 65” labeling and other requirements
– “Natural” or “Organic” labeling requirements
– Permits needed to build and/or operate a facility
– Annual reporting requirements to local/state environmental and safety agencies