Environment, Health & Safety

The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing, highly regulated industries in the nation, making compliance a critical component of any cannabis-related business. In addition to complying with rigorous state and local cannabis-related regulations, businesses must also comply with applicable Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) regulations from state and federal agencies, including OSHA and the EPA.

Environment, Health and Safety is an area where cannabis operators may be highly exposed to regulatory enforcement actions, and noncompliance can result in significant civil — and potential criminal — liability for both the business and the individuals within a company.

As the cannabis industry grows, so too will regulators’ interest in holding cannabis operators accountable for requisite environmental permits, licenses, and compliance. State and federal environmental regulators have already taken actions against cannabis companies for violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act, as well as holding landowners liable for environmental transgressions on their property. Additionally, states and local municipalities are increasingly incorporating sustainability requirements into license applications and regulations.

Is your business protected? 

Vicente Sederberg’s environmental attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience in the field and are ready to assist your cannabis business in complying with Environmental, Health & Safety laws through identification, prevention, mitigation, and resolution of relevant issues.

LEADERSHIP

Senior Associate Attorney

Counsel / Head of Impact & ESG

Services

Select a category below to learn more about our Environment, Health & Safety services.

  • Assisting in obtaining necessary and proper environmental permits/licenses

  • Advising on proper permitting for projects and preparation of environmental impact statements

  • Assisting in obtaining waste permitting for cannabis production

  • Assisting with pesticide registration

  • Mitigating environmental enforcement risks

  • Preparing of environmental, health, & safety warnings and disclosures

  • Reviewing and advising on product labeling

  • Advising on green marketing claims
  • Identifying water rights and management

  • Advising on compliance with California’s Prop 65 requirements
  • Assisting with OSHA compliance

  • Preparing contracts/agreements addressing environmental issues
  • Performing environmental real estate due diligence

  • Assisting with land use and zoning matters

  • Advising on brownfields redevelopment

  • Assisting in wetland, riparian, floodplain, coastal, and preserved or protected agricultural land issues

  • Environmental review and contracting related to real estate matters

  • Defending civil litigation

  • Defending environmental enforcement actions brought by local, state, and/or federal government

  • Advising on reducing environmental impacts (carbon footprint, energy/water usage, waste disposal costs, etc.)

  • Advising on sustainability and climate change-related issues
  • Providing guidance on sustainable and resilient building construction strategies

  • Identifying and assisting in the preparation of grant applications

Experience

The VS Environment, Health & Safety practice group includes three former state environmental regulatory attorneys with experience as former in-house environmental counsel to a Fortune 100 company, former environmental legal counsel to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, former sustainability coordinator and counsel to the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency, and former litigation counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 

  • Facilitated, coordinated, and reviewed environmental assessments prior to cannabis company acquiring land and real estate 

  • Drafted environmental obligations agreement and environmental provisions of corporate documents for cannabis businesses 

  • Advised cannabis clients on the environmental risk and liability of purchasing contaminated or potentially contaminated properties and negotiation of terms

  • Managed a $2.6 million PCB remediation project 

  • Assessing environmental conditions of properties based upon the review of environmental reports and drafting opinion letters for institutional lenders assessing the environmental risk associated with providing financing using contaminated properties as collateral

  • Coordinated and implemented public-private partnerships including the redevelopment and construction of Jersey City's Berry Lane Park, a 17 ½ acre former brownfield site

  • Received approvals on various types of development projects such as large-scale mixed-use, adaptive reuse of historic structures, commercial, high/mid-rise apartment buildings, and inclusive housing with affordable housing units

  • Assisted with public utilities on easement issues and obtained state approvals for tideland licenses/grants and wetland permits

  • Secured and implemented Federal, state, county, and private grants including the Major League Baseball Grant, Tony Hawk Grant, Hudson County Open Spaces Grant, NOAA Resiliency Grant, and the NJDEP Post Sandy Resiliency Grant

  • Coordinated and implemented the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency's city-wide sustainability and resiliency efforts

  • Reviewed and negotiated environmental segments of acquisition and divestiture agreements

  • Represented company in state and federal Superfund PRP groups

  • Oversaw and directed technical consultants on environmental compliance, permitting, and remediation issues

  • Successfully represented facilities in administrative appeals and negotiated permits and Compliance Orders addressing air emissions from a facility in Indiana and water discharges from facilities in New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana

  • Negotiated settlements with state and federal agencies and other responsible parties to address remediation issues in California, Wisconsin, Washington, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Illinois, resulting in reduced environmental liability exposure and substantial cost savings

  • Litigation of matters in administrative, state, and federal courts of law

People

Senior Associate Attorney

Associate Attorney

Counsel / Head of Impact & ESG

News

[Webinar] Impact and ESG in the Cannabis Industry

Jun 15, 2021

Watch this recorded session to meet the new VS Impact & ESG team, learn more about this emerging business priority, and how to start planning and measuring your ESG practice – including Corporate Social Responsibility programs, meaningful Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts, environmental sustainability, and community and employee engagement.

Prop 65 Warning Requirements for Cannabis, THC and CBD

By Andrea A. Golan
Apr 13, 2020

In early 2020, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment added Δ9 THC and marijuana smoke to the Proposition 65 list of chemicals known as reproductive toxins. What does this mean for cannabis businesses?