As new enterprises in the cannabis industry finally emerge with their business licenses after achieving all state and commission-level compliance mandates, they are not always aware of the federal implications of opening their businesses in terms of applicable environmental, health, and safety (EHS) regulations that exist. Time and time again, we meet with owners and management that are dumbfounded when OSHA or EPA walks through the door and issues them a citation. Many of these businesses have well-meaning management and are in 100% compliance with all state and local regulations. Reality is: state and federal regulations differ tremendously and cannabis enterprises have just as much exposure, if not more, when it comes to dealing with the feds as compared with the state cannabis commissions. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not that agencies like OSHA and EPA couldn’t apply and enforce existing federal regulations to the emerging cannabis industry - they can and they will - but from a logical standpoint, they wait until an enterprise is open and employing workers before they pursue any action.
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