Environmental impacts in the cannabis industry

As cannabis use for medical and recreational purposes, including products containing THC and CBD, becomes more ubiquitous across the United States, business sectors from farming to processing to distribution may be required to navigate complicated regulatory landscapes that are sometimes contradictory. From odor issues to waste and water recycling and disposal, below is a broad overview of some of the regulatory areas of which any Future Enterprise in the cannabis industry needs to be aware, with a sampling of specific instances where states or local governments have provided guidance.

State air quality odor regulations could apply to hemp production and processing operations, involving hemp drying. For example, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently ordered a hemp drying and storage facility to cease operations due to pungent odors creating a nuisance in the surrounding area. Pennsylvania law prohibits “the emission into the outdoor atmosphere of any malodorous air contaminants,” and DEP found that the facility was using ineffectual generators and scrubbers. Other states have similar prohibitions.

In some areas, such as in the West, water sourcing, usage, and quality are considered a big issue for cannabis cultivation. In California, for instance, the various state Water Boards have put together a Cannabis Cultivation website to help inform the cannabis industry as to requirements for cannabis cultivation. In a recent cannabis program report, the Water Boards found that cannabis cultivation can result in significant and long-term environmental degradation.

Read more at futureenterprise.com


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