Michigan's CRA Emphasizes Strict Marijuana Waste Disposal Protocols

February 1st, 2024 Legal & Crime Ryan Spegal
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In response to reports of unauthorized removal of discarded marijuana products from facility dumpsters, Michigan's Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) issued a reminder to licensed cannabis businesses about mandatory waste disposal practices. This directive emphasizes the need for marijuana products and plant waste to be rendered unusable and unrecognizable, adhering to strict disposal methods.

The CRA outlines that marijuana waste should be disposed of in a secure waste receptacle and can only be processed by:

  • Licensed municipal solid waste landfills
  • Registered composting facilities with specific approval for marijuana waste
  • Approved anaerobic digesters
  • Permitted municipal solid waste or hazardous waste incinerators within Michigan

Nick Hannawa, Chief Legal Counsel of PUFF Cannabis Company, which operates 10 locations in Michigan, elaborated on their rigorous disposal procedures. The process involves breaking down the waste product (expired or damaged) using substances like vinegar, cat litter, and sometimes cement, to ensure it is unrecognizable. This process is thoroughly documented and reported to the state. A specialized waste management company is then tasked with the off-site disposal of these materials.

Hannawa emphasized the importance of adhering to these regulations, highlighting the potential risks of improperly disposed marijuana products, such as accidental consumption by children or individuals not authorized to possess them. The intricate disposal process, though laborious, is essential for compliance with state laws and ensuring public safety.

Michigan's CRA's reinforcement of these disposal guidelines underscores the importance of responsible waste management in the cannabis industry, reflecting the state's commitment to public health and safety, as well as environmental stewardship.

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