MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Fire, Health, and Safety Risks Associated with Cannabis Extraction Methods, and the Rules and Regulations Designed to Address Such Risks, Cannabis Business Executive

December 18, 2019

In an article published by Cannabis Business Executive on December 18, 2019, Reggie Snyder discusses legal issues, operational challenges, and regulatory hurdles that marijuana-related businesses (MRBs) frequently encounter.

Mr. Snyder explains the three most common extraction methods that MRBs use when processing cannabis plant material to extract cannabinoids, terpenes and other components from the plant; the fire, health, and safety risks associated with each cannabis extraction method; the National Fire Protection Association’s (N.F.P.A.) rules and regulations that govern cannabis extraction; and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules and regulations that MRBs must comply with in their extraction facilities.

“As the cannabis industry has grown, so have fire, health and safety risks, and industrial accidents and explosions, in marijuana extraction facilities. In the 33 states where cannabis is legal for medical and/or recreational use, at least 10 fires or explosions have occurred in the past five years at extraction facilities, and nearly all of these incidents resulted in serious injuries to production-line staff working in the facilities,” says Mr. Snyder.

Fire, health and safety rules and regulations at cannabis extraction facilities is primarily a state and local government issue because marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law. Notwithstanding the fact that marijuana is still classified as an illegal drug under federal law, OSHA rules and regulations still apply to cannabis-related businesses and their facilities.

“All MRBs should purchase sufficient amounts of property and casualty insurance coverage to protect their employees, property, equipment and inventory from loss or damage caused by these types of work-related fire, health and safety risks,” says Mr. Snyder.

To read the full article, click here.

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