Since the passage of SQ788, Oklahoma has issued several thousand medical business licenses. Each and every one of them (who are actually doing business) generate some volume of Regulated Medical Marijuana Waste. Until very recently, there was not a completely compliant method to dispose of this waste. Some businesses have been disposing by illegal or non-compliant methods, while others have been storing their waste waiting for a compliant solution. Sources with the OBNDD (Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) have noted that law enforcement has observed “dumpster diving” at certain dispensaries. Our industry has a duty to guard against illegal and potentially dangerous diversion.
This article is intended to be a comprehensive discussion of the laws and rules regarding regulated medical marijuana waste. It’s lengthy, and might be a bit dry. However, if you make it through to the end you will gain a full understanding of the situation, and what you can do to be compliant. Now might be a good time to grab a cup of coffee before continuing.
What is Regulated Medical Marijuana Waste?
Oklahoma statute, Title §63-428.1.7 provides a definition:
“Medical marijuana waste” shall mean unused, surplus, returned or out-of-date marijuana and plant debris of the plant of the genus Cannabis, including dead plants and all unused plant parts, except the term shall not include roots, stems, stalks and fan leaves.
§63-429.B. Commercial licensees, medical marijuana research facilities and medical marijuana education facilities shall be authorized to destroy the following marijuana plant parts without being required to utilize the services of a medical marijuana waste disposal facility:
Fan leaves; and
Unless restricted by local ordinance, commercial licensees, medical marijuana research facilities and medical marijuana education facilities shall be authorized to destroy the above-listed marijuana plant parts on-site by open burning, incineration, burying, mulching, composting or any other technique approved by the Department of Environmental Quality.
So this would seem to mean that any part of the cannabis plant, aside from the four items listed above, would constitute regulated medical marijuana waste. But wait, there’s more! OMMA (Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority) rules further state:
310:681-5-10. (a)All medical marijuana plant material and waste generated during the cultivation, production, processing, handling, and testing of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products must be stored, managed, and disposed of in accordance with these Rules, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Waste Management Act, 63 O.S. § 427a et seq., and any other applicable Oklahoma statutes and rules.
Let’s look at that one line a little closer: “and waste generated during the cultivation, production, processing, handling, and testing of….”
Flower and trim that has been processed into distillate or concentrate, often referred to as biomass, would be regulated MMJ waste, until there is a change in Title 63, Chapter 429 and 310:681-5-10-(a) This would also mean that any product – or byproduct created from the processing of medical marijuana would also be regulated MMJ waste. Chemicals that are contaminated by THC during the laboratory testing process, anything disposable that comes in contact with medical marijuana, such as packaging, disposable gloves, laboratory drying trays and certain testing materials, which have come in contact with THC should also be disposed of as regulated MMJ waste.
So, let’s review:
OMMA licensed businesses are required by Oklahoma State Law and by OMMA agency rules to store, manage, and dispose of regulated medical marijuana waste according to state statutes and agency rules. Regulated medical marijuana waste includes:
- Cannabis plant parts which are not Root balls, Stems, Fan leaves, or Seeds.
- Unused, surplus, recalled, returned or out-of-date marijuana
- Spent or partially spent biomass remaining after extraction or other processing
- Liquids containing THC. Alcohols and solvents used in processing and testing, including out of spec distillates or concentrates
- Disposable items used in the manufacture, processing, testing or dispensing of medical marijuana
What types of businesses need Medical Marijuana Waste Management Services?
- Growers generate plant parts which have no economic value, and that don’t fall into the 4 specified plant parts that can be burned, mulched, or composted. Growers sometimes have product that fails testing which must be destroyed. Growers may also use disposable items that become contaminated with THC and should be disposed of in the regulated MMJ waste stream.
- Processors may generate spent or partially spent biomass. They may have spent chemicals which were used in the extraction process. Processors may also have product that fails testing and must be disposed of in the regulated MMJ waste. Also, disposable items used in the processing should be disposed in the regulated MMJ waste stream.
- Testing Laboratories generate destroyed samples and disposable containers and items used in the testing of cannabis. They also generate a large quantity of contaminated methanol, solvents and acids that can be disposed of efficiently in the regulated MMJ waste stream.
- Dispensaries may have product that is dropped on the floor, product that is out of date or unsuitable to dispense to patients, or recalled product. Dispensaries should also properly dispose of gloves, wholesale packaging, and other items that have been in contact with cannabis.
So what are we supposed to do with this stuff?
Let’s take another look at OMMA agency rules:
310:681-9-6(b) OMMA licensed entities shall dispose of medical marijuana waste using an approved medical marijuana waste disposal facility. The licensee shall dispose of all medical marijuana waste in a secure waste receptacle. The receptacle shall be kept in a safe and secure location with limited access. All limited access areas must be identified by the posting of a sign which shall be a minimum of 12″ X 12″ and which shall state in the English language “Do Not Enter – Limited Access Area – Access limited to licensed owners, employees and contractors only” in lettering no smaller than ½ inch in height. All access areas shall be secured with commercial-grade II non-residential locks. Locks are required at all points of ingress and egress to the limited access area. The secure container must be not easily movable and must be locked using the minimum lock standards of the container itself.
We all know that OMMA has not been strictly enforcing their agency rules, in order to allow the industry time to develop compliant solutions. OMMA has announced that they intend to inspect each and every licensed entity during 2020, and at least annually – or more often in the event that compliance issues are documented.
In accordance with the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Waste Management Act, 63 O.S. § 427, OMMA has now certified American Environmental of Sand Springs, OK as a Licensed Medical Marijuana Waste Disposal Facility. Their OMMA license number is WAAA-V1NG-7VGF.
American Environmental has partnered with Secure Transport Solutions of Oklahoma City, OK to provide Regulated Medical Marijuana Waste collection service to the licensed cannabis businesses of Oklahoma. Their OMMA Transporter license number is TAAA-EKXF-PP83.
For a very affordable monthly fee, Secure Transport Solutions is providing OMMA compliant and safe containers, regularly scheduled pickup service, transportation to American Environmental’s licensed MMJ Waste Disposal Facility, and documentation that your regulated MMJ waste has been properly disposed in accordance with applicable laws and agency rules. Secure Transport Solutions is also assisting in the completion and approval process for each client’s waste profile, to include NHIW Certification for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, and also providing all necessary documentation to the client so that they are able to demonstrate compliance with all relevant State laws and agency rules.
This solution is especially advantageous to testing laboratories, since American Environmental’s process is DEQ approved to accept chemicals used in the testing process, as well as glass waste. Secure Transport Solutions has worked with American Environmental to provide a process by which these waste streams can be merged with the Regulated Medical Marijuana Waste in order to provide a comprehensive solution for testing labs in Oklahoma. This method has been approved by the ODEQ, and is at a significant cost savings over traditional chemical waste disposal.
This is, without question, the single most comprehensive and affordable compliant waste disposal solution available to Oklahoma’s Medical Cannabis industry!
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, where we can answer any questions and set your licensed business up with a service agreement!
Secure Transport Solutions can be reached at 405-256-2234. Our website is www.securetransport.solutions and email can be sent to email@example.com