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Environmental Obligations for the Cannabis Industry

marihuana plants in green house grow facility
Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Environmental Obligations for the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis cultivation and processing are expanding, as hemp and both recreational and medical marijuana products are being legalized across the country. As part of this expansion, it is important to determine what environmental regulations may apply. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has created several guidance documents to aid in the understanding of these regulations and where to go for help.

Please note that other federal, state, and local regulations or programs may apply.  It is the responsibility of the licensee to comply with all applicable regulations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Environmental Guidance

Leaves of a hemp plant

Hemp Growing and Processing

Although the hemp and marijuana industries are similar, these guidance documents are intended specifically for growers and processors of industrial hemp. The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development is the lead agency for industrial hemp and more information on this industry can be found on the industrial hemp webpage.

Protecting of Water Resources when Growing and Processing Hemp
This guidance document covers most state programs designed to protect water quality.

Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulations
This guidance document covers most state programs related to waste regulations.

Protecting Air Quality When Growing and Processing Hemp
This guidance document covers most state programs related to air quality regulations.

marijuana plant and flower

Marijuana Growing and Processing

These guidance documents are intended specifically for growers and processors of marijuana. The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) is the lead agency for recreational and medical marijuana. More information can be found on the MRA webpage.

Environmental Compliance for Growers and Processors of Marijuana
A brief overview of potential regulations as well as links to helpful forms and documents. See links below for more specific information.

Protecting Water Resources when Growing and Processing Marijuana
This guidance document covers most state programs designed to protect water quality. 

Solid and Hazardous Waste Regulations
This guidance document covers most state programs related to waste regulations. 

Protecting Air Quality When Growing and Processing Marijuana
This guidance document covers most state programs related to air quality regulations. 

Marijuana Production and Processing Operations – Environmental Regulations and Concerns
(Local Leaders Webinar recorded 3/26/19, 68 min)

Other Information

Environmental Sustainability in the Cannabis Industry: Impacts, Best Management Practices, and Policy Considerations
October 2020 – A nation-wide group of experts, including staff from EGLE’s Air Quality Division, worked to research and publish a technical report on “Environmental Sustainability in the Cannabis Industry: Impacts, Best Management Practices, and Policy Considerations”. The report contains information on environmental impacts including: Land use and soil health, water, energy, air quality, and waste and is a keystone to the legal cannabis marketplace.

MI Environment Article - Environmental Impacts of the Marijuana Industry
This article was published on April 17, 2019 and is an overview of the potential environmental impacts of the marijuana industry. 

White Paper: The Environmental Impacts of the Marijuana Industry
This document was finalized on September 17, 2018 by EGLE's Marijuana Workgroup, prior to marijuana being legalized recreationally in Michigan. The workgroup consists of staff from multiple EGLE divisions and is changed with evaluating the environmental impacts of the marijuana industry, creating outreach and guidance for growers and processors and working with the Marijuana Regulatory Agency housed in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Marijuana Industry Overview