Cannabis extraction and processing is a fast-growing market. Cannabis consumers and medical patients enjoy experiencing various products and benefits made possible through extraction. Immediate pain and inflammatory relief are possible with concentrates and topicals that contain higher THC and CBD levels. Extended relief is also possible with edibles, tinctures, and other products that have longer duration when ingested. Beneficial applications are driving the progression of cannabis extract products with everyday cannabis consumers. Companies are rushing to fill this market need.
What creates danger in Cannabis extraction?
In most cases, it is the use of hazardous materials. Cannabis extraction uses solvents and gases. The use of these materials triggers a list of safety requirements. It is required to take precautions to protect the operators of extraction systems to ensure that they are safe from chemicals and gases. Some can explode and seriously injure the operator, whiles others can poison or suffocate anyone in the room if they are released without safety precautions. There have been incidents of dangerous fires, explosions, and even deaths in extraction labs. Due to such accidents, city officials, state officials, and their building inspectors are holding processors to stricter standards than ever before.
With the exciting growth in the extraction market, many operators are installing new systems, adding to existing systems, or modifying their processes for better results. These facility changes are regulated by the state cannabis regulatory agency and the local building inspector. Installing a system, changing the solvent initially specified, making modifications to the extraction equipment or processing room, and changes to the extraction method all require inspection. All states recognize the International Fire Code (IFC). Some states have recognized the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) new code requirements for marijuana extraction processes. These codes set the benchmarks for the requirements of a system.
It is the owners’ responsibility to explain and document compliance with these regulations to the inspector. These regulations are complicated and detailed. Compliance is demonstrated through engineered technical reports, peer review, and field verification. The IFC and NFPA require that this work be completed and stamped by an independent professional engineer. Until this is complete, the inspector can prevent the process from starting up for safety reasons. Some processors have been issued stop work orders because their paperwork was not in order. Processors have reported lengthy delays in approvals due to holdups in submitting and approving these documents.
Cobau Engineering has experience in quickly drafting peer reviews and technical reports to complete these requirements. We have multiple engineers on staff who understand the codes, including professional engineers who can complete and stamp the required reports for an inspector. Field verifications can be completed immediately following installation of equipment.
Cobau Engineering is a team of construction professionals that can complete fieldwork and advise you on anything that may be required to pass state and local requirements. These include air ventilation, gas detection, fire suppression, and pressure relief valves. We can provide designs and solutions for these items as needed.
Satisfied extraction certification customers include Evolution Processing, Great Lakes Alchemy, Heritage Farms Manistee, Indigrow, USA Labs, and Buds Hydro.
If you are interested in any of the services we offer, please fill out the contact us form.