The Washington State Building Code Council (“SBCC”) recently adopted new rules categorizing “marijuana processing facilities” as F-1 occupancies. More information can be found on the SBCC’s website.
An F-1 occupancy is a Factory Industrial Group Moderate Hazard occupancy. Marijuana processing facilities will now be required to comply with the same building and fire code requirements as industrial factory uses. Many jurisdictions already require processing facilities that undertake extraction activities to comply with these more stringent building and fire code requirements.
The biggest impact, however, may be to processing facilities that only dry, cure and package marijuana for sale to retailers. All processing facilities, regardless of whether they include an extraction system, will likely need to comply with the F-1 building code requirements.
The good news is that the SBCC voted NOT to categorize marijuana growing facilities as F-1 occupancies. Such a categorization could have been the death knell for small greenhouse growers.
Keep in mind, that local jurisdictions can and often do adopt their own building code requirements apart and in addition to those adopted by the SBCC. More on local requirements for cities and counties and can be found here.
For more information on the regulation of marijuana businesses, please contact Heather Wolf.