In reality there are a plethora of safety and environmental regulations already on the books that apply to these operations even though these new operations associated with marijuana are not mentioned specifically in the regulatory text.
From hazard communications, emergency action plans and industrial hygiene to flammable liquids and solid and hazardous waste management; there is a regulation for just about every topic you can think of and they apply to the marijuana industry.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some unique challenges for this industry due to the existence of controlled substances in the production chain. But the pharmaceutical industry has been dealing with that for many years and has some good models and lessons-learned to follow.
The best way for this growing industry to handle all of these EHS requirements is to incorporate them right into the operations and compliance programs from the start. To those familiar with 5S, lean manufacturing and other world class manufacturing principles, this is a familiar exercise, and one implemented at companies who care about the company bottom line and employees. From floor plans to electrical systems. From raw material in the door to product and wastes going out the other end. Plan the Work and Work the Plan. And the Plan includes EHS compliance in the making of a new industry.
MIOSHA likes to promote their Safety & Health Management System (SHMS) which includes important elements of any compliance program such as Management Commitment, Employee Involvement, Workplace Hazard Analysis and Hazard Prevention & Control. In other words, team work and being pro-active in detecting problems and correcting them. It’s not rocket science. It’s just good, sound business practice and this approach has been used by successful companies for decades.
If you would like more information about EHS compliance programs that work for you, give one of our professionals a call.
About the Author: Bill Schneider is one of SRM’s Principal Consultants and has also served as an EHS Director for a multi-national firm and as regulator over the course of his career.