In August, Missouri’s cannabis industry faced a significant setback when a product recall swept the state’s cannabis industry. Greenway Magazine covered the story and reported the statewide recall to be valued at approximately $30-50 million. As operators strive to recover lost revenue and manage recalled products, they must also ensure strict compliance with mandated regulations for the disposal of these products; some of which are now categorized as EPA hazardous waste. Regulations governing hazardous waste generator requirements are outlined by the Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulation in 19 CSR 100-1.140. These requirements are defined in the Federal Code of Regulations, specifically in 40 CFR 262, which have been adopted into the Missouri Code of State Regulations (10 CSR 25.3).

According to these regulations, any product that is discarded is considered waste. Waste that meets the criteria specified in 40 CFR 262 as reactive, toxic, ignitable, or corrosive is classified as hazardous waste. Such waste must be disposed of in strict accordance with prescribed regulations. While the term “hazardous” can take on various meanings, in this context, cannabis products comingled with extraction compounds like butane may be classified as ignitable and, therefore, hazardous under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA regulations provide detailed methods for characterizing and managing hazardous waste, including imposing time limits and criteria for storage based on the type and quantity of waste generated.

The categories and requirements for hazardous waste categorization are as follows:

(Please note that waste volume totals apply to all site-generated hazardous waste and are not solely representative of recently recalled product volume.)

Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQGs) generate 100 kilograms or less per month of hazardous waste or one kilogram or less per month of acutely hazardous waste. VSQGs may not accumulate more than 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste at any given time.

Small Quantity Generators (SQGs) generate more than 100 kilograms but less than 1,000 kilograms of hazardous waste per month. SQGs may accumulate hazardous waste on-site for 180 days without a permit, or 270 days if they need to ship it over a distance greater than 200 miles.

Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) generate 1,000 kilograms per month or more of hazardous waste or more than one kilogram per month of acutely hazardous waste. LQGs may accumulate and store waste for 90 days.

Depending on the facility’s generator status, additional rules or conditions may apply, such as hazardous waste reporting, notifications, and a contingency plan outlining how deviations to SOPs involving hazardous materials will be managed. Operators should refer to 40 CFR 265 for specific hazardous waste contingency plan requirements.

The Division’s recall was posted on August 14, 2023. As of the publication of this article, more than 70 calendar days have passed, and the deadline for disposing of recalled products is quickly approaching for LQGs, or those facilities whose generator status may have been impacted as a result of the recall.

It’s important to note that exceptions, conditions, and caveats exist within every rule, and reaching out to a trusted partner such as Delta is a great way to mitigate any risks and ensure compliance.

Delta Compliance brings a wealth of industry experience in the field of environmental compliance, with a specialization in navigating the complexities of waste management within heavily regulated sectors. Our experts stand ready to offer complimentary consultations, designed to aid you in comprehending the specific status of your facility as a waste generator and the associated compliance responsibilities. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Delta today to schedule your free consultation, tailored to address your facility’s unique waste compliance requirements.

Talya D. Mayfield

Talya Mayfield is the CEO and Principal Consultant for Delta Compliance Consulting. Talya has a B.S. in Biology, an M.S. in Industrial Engineering Management, and a Certificate in Lean Six Sigma. She spent 8 years in cement manufacturing and hazardous waste working on a range of environmental compliance requirements, from improving safety and employee exposure, to hazardous material management and disposal permitting. She has now merged this expertise with her love of all things cannabis, and launched Delta Compliance Consulting to help cannabis operators run safe, compliant and successful facilities. Delta Compliance consultants are certified in Cannabis Compliance and Risk Management, as well as OSHA-30. Contact us and let the certified experts assist you with all your compliance and risk management needs.

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