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Marijuana licensing and the environment

The state Liquor and Cannabis Board licenses marijuana growing and processing operations, but other environmental regulations may potentially apply, such as:

  • Air quality permitting
  • Wastewater discharge permitting
  • Water right permitting (depending on the size of the operation)
In addition to the information provided here, we recommend you read Regulatory Guidance for Cannabis Operations before you get started.

Some regulations are site-specific

The design and location of your intended project can significantly influence the viability of your marijuana growing or processing operation. For example, marijuana growing is prohibited in some areas of the state due to local ordinances or federal policy.

The need for permits and authorizations for a project depend on zoning rules, location, and operation details. You might want to ask what approvals are needed through your county or city permitting offices.

Laboratory accreditation study

We are currently studying protocols and standards for accrediting cannabis testing laboratories. During the 2018 legislative session, the Legislature directed us to conduct the study through ESSB 6032 – Section 302 (17).
 
We administer an established environmental and drinking-water laboratory accreditation program that covers nearly 500 labs, and this experience will inform our recommendations.
 
There is no rulemaking currently associated with this study. The work began on July 1, 2018, and the final report is due to the Legislature by Jan. 15, 2019.

Potential permits

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)
Air quality
Water quality
Water rights
Waste management