The rules and regulations for the cannabis business are still in flux in Michigan, including environmental regulation of the cannabis business. One State agency, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE, formerly the MDEQ) is moving forward with the development of air quality permitting procedures for the cannabis industry.
EGLE Concerns about Air Quality from Cannabis Growers
The EGLE Air Quality Division (AQD) is reportedly evaluating cannabis operations with a current emphasis on processor and grow facilities. A recent EGLE webinar (March 26, 2019), titled “Marijuana Cultivation and Processing Operations: Environmental Regulations and Concerns,” emphasized the importance EGLE will be placing on air quality. The webinar is available for download through the “Local Leaders Webinar Series” website.
Some important information from the webinar:
- AQD foresees regulating the cannabis industry using existing air quality regulations.
- Current AQD understanding is that “typical” processor and grow operations may be subject to odor and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
- AQDs initial emphasis will be on odor control. The above webinar includes links to odor control plan templates. AQD suggested that grow facilities start developing an odor control plan.
The safest path is to evaluate your situation with respect to the current Michigan environmental regulations and get ahead of the regulatory process. It is better to have a plan and documentation in place prior to an EGLE inspection of your facility.
Environmental Webinar for Cannabis Investors
Over the past few months, we have been working with investors (in state and out of state) who are anxious to get involved in this emerging market. In some cases, the investors are unfamiliar with environmental due diligence and/or other environmental issues that may affect them. In an effort to educate new investors, my colleague, Jeffrey Bolin, pre-recorded an introductory webinar specific to the cannabis market (see link below). The webinar covers basic environmental due diligence and specific issues (at about 22:15) related to the cannabis market.