Growing Pains in the Cannabis Industry

Posted by mpolkabla On August - 28 - 2018

With the recent legalization of Cannabis products, there has also been a resultant increase in regulatory oversight and management within this emerging industry as it relates to the areas of cannabis cultivation, product manufacturing, and distribution.   In California (as well as in much of the Unites States and Canada), this legalization has also resulted in significant cannabis “growing pains” due to the lack of standardized codes, requirements, and enforcement with respect to these industries. In fact, depending on location and relevant local ordinances, such operational and permitting requirements will vary significantly and can create a confusing matrix of requirements for those in this industry as well as to those cities and counties attempting to effectively manage and regulate these new operations.

With the legalization of medical and (in some States) recreational marijuana use, a corresponding emergence of this once “underground industry”, has now begun. With it, however, also includes an industry which also contains occupational and environmental hazards for both workers and communities which also need to be addressed and effectively mitigated. These hazards regularly range from the ergonomic and physical hazards associated with growing, harvesting, and trimming of plant and flower materials, to the many chemical processing and chemical hazards associated with the wide variety of process extraction, manufacturing, and distillation techniques currently available and used within this industry. Also significant within this industry, are the many known and unknown hazards and impacts associated with the production and use of the end products such as edibles, topicals, vape cartridges, dabs, and tinctures. Each of these end products contain varying mixtures, ratios, and concentrations of the many common active ingredients of cannabis-based products (called cannabinoids) and include many recognized active ingredient compounds such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and other active psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds and ingredients.   These end products also contain a wide variety of organic compounds derived from the extracts and distillates harvested from the cannabis plant which includes terpenes, waxes, and other essential oils which provide flavor, unique smell, and other sought after medical and recreational traits associated with these products. In fact, there are well over 60 different recognized cannabinoids currently recognized with varying beneficial use and sought after characteristics for both medical and recreational uses.

Based on the complex Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) needs associated with this industry, BioMax Environmental, Inc. offers technical assessment and professional evaluation within each of the manufacturing processes to evaluate and assess the environmental impacts and occupational workplace hazards for EPA and Cal/OSHA compliance, as well as to facilitate the process of permitting and regulatory compliance. Our clients within both private industry as well as public entities and municipalities benefit for the knowledge and experience associated with our professional Certified industrial Hygiene (CIH) consultative services as they navigate these newly adopted local and State requirements as well as enforcement standards within our shared communities.

BioMax has recently aided a number of large production growing as well as manufacturing operations within northern California and on the central coast regions   Our services includes code compliance, EH&S design, and process safety management with particular acumen in the successful application and acquisition of operational use permitting and regulatory compliance. Our professional perspective and emphasis is always one of worker protection and environmental compliance first, while utilizing best sustainable and ethical practices through each manufacturing process from growing and harvest, to extraction and end product. This allows us to aid both private industry and municipalities to a shared and balanced benefit for success for private industry, our cities, and our communities.

Our clients find our services essential in the success of effectively managing the many regulatory requirements applicable to compliance in this vertically integrated industry which includes product growing, harvesting, manufacturing, processing, (and ultimately) the development of consumer products for distribution and use. Our support and consultative services include permit application submittal and support, process safety and standard operating procedure (SOP) design, as well as operational evaluation. Our services are performed with an emphasis on environmental health and safety (EH&S) within the wide range of cannabis industry operations. Our detailed and extensive knowledge in organic and physical chemistry utilizing process extraction methods (in a wide variety of industries and environments) uniquely establishes us as key members and advocates of the science and efficacy within the range of processes and methods which are common within the constantly evolving cannabis industry. In fact, BioMax’s Senior Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) who manages all projects within this field, is degreed in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology, and Aquatic Biology and has operational process knowledge and experience applicable to this emerging and evolving industry.