Colorado Requires Professional Engineers Or Certified Industrial Hygienists To Review Processes And Equipment, But Prohibits Facilities In Residential Settings, Cantalini Said.

The van Hoekelen family plans to apply to grow marijuana in Kline Township, Schuylkill County, where it has raised flowers and plants in commercial greenhouses for nearly 30 years. Entrepreneurs in Luzerne County also might seek permits, which cost $10,000 to apply for, while other municipalities, such as Hazleton and Hazle Township, have considered how to regulate medical marijuana facilities. Processors commonly soak marijuana plants in butane, propane or ethanol potentially dangerous solvents. The chemical solvents create fumes that are highly flammable and can lead to explosions and fire that are similar to the extremely dangerous methamphetamine labs that have long plagued police and firefighters, notes a guide prepared for law enforcement by the Police Foundation in Washington, D.C., and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police. Joe Cantalini, a chemist at Organa Labs, one of the largest marijuana producers in Colorado, said in an email that accidents have occurred, primarily in situations without common-sense safety precautions by persons without property training in unregulated, black-market operations. Colorado requires professional engineers or certified industrial hygienists to review processes and equipment, but prohibits facilities in residential settings, Cantalini said. Pennsylvania law prohibits the sale of marijuana leaves as medicine, so growers must process the leaves into oils, waxes, tinctures, pills, creams or liquids. The state also regulates the transport and disposal of waste material from the plants. In Butler Township, a draft ordinance limits waste disposal and trucking facilities for medical marijuana to light industrial or industrial and mining zones. Operators would need a special exception from the zoning board. Polidora would like to prevent facilities from accepting marijuana waste from outside Butler Township, but Karpowich said that might violate the constitutional provision that lets the federal government set rules for interstate commerce.

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