According to state regulations, it is the responsibility of the operator to identify their waste streams as waste/cannabis waste/hazardous waste [Section 40290 (a)] and follow the applicable rules and regulations of proper disposal. Waste is likely one of the last things on the mind of an operator. However, fees and penalties for improper disposal of waste can be huge. Proper cannabis waste disposal is essential to cannabis operations and cannabis waste profiling is the first step. 

What You Should Know About Cannabis Waste Profiling

Basics of Cannabis Waste Profiling

The BCC regulations state that Licensees shall comply with all applicable waste management laws including, but not limited to, Division 30 of the Public Resources Code. Other regulations referenced also include Title 14, California Code of Regulations, Chapter 3.1 (commencing with Section 17850).

In regard to waste in general, there are several sets of regulations to consult to ensure compliance. The addition of cannabis chemical constituents adds an extra layer of complexity to waste compliance. Failure to comply with waste regulation is onerous. It is imperative that cannabis operators have their cannabis waste profiled appropriately, to make compliance simpler.

Penalties for Improper Disposal of Waste

Here are some examples of fines and penalties accrued for improper disposal of waste:

  • Failure to prevent a hazardous waste release (up to $70,000 fine per day)
  • Mismanagement of hazardous waste (up to $70,000 fine per day)
  • Failure to create and file a hazmat business plan (up to $70,000 fine per day)
  • Improper storage and removal of solid waste violation (up to $25,000 fine per day)

The above fines and violations were found at an unlicensed cultivation operation in Humboldt County.

Fines and violations specific to cannabis waste at a state level include the following:

  • Failure to dispose of cannabis waste as identified in the licensee’s approved waste management plan. ($501-$1000)
  • Failure to deposit cannabis waste at a manned fully permitted solid waste landfill or transformation facility; manned, fully permitted composting facility or manned composting operation; manned, fully permitted in-vessel digestion facility; manned, fully permitted in-vessel digestion operation; or manned, fully permitted chip and grind operation or facility. ($501-$1000)
  • Failure to dispose of cannabis waste in a secured waste receptacle or in a secured area on the licensed premises. ($501-$1000)
  •  Failure to maintain accurate and comprehensive records regarding cannabis waste material that account for, reconcile, and evidence all activity related to the generation or disposition of cannabis waste. ($501-$1000)

Source: California Department of Food and Agriculture

Our Solution

GAIACA offers cannabis waste profiling for cannabis operators. We are experienced in dealing with all streams of waste including but not limited to: non-hazardous cannabis waste, hazardous cannabis waste, solvent waste, and universal waste. We provide waste management services for cultivators, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and testing laboratories.