WSR 16-16-118
[Filed August 3, 2016, 10:08 a.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 16-12-012.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The subject of this rule is adoption of regulatory guidance under WAC 51-54A-0105 and 51-54A-3800 for the cannabis industry, specifically marijuana processing or extraction facilities. The council established a special technical advisory group (TAG) to include industry representatives, local officials, and other affected parties to develop proposed permanent rules. TAG met from March through May 2016 and developed the draft language; the proposed rules were adopted by the council on an emergency basis on June 10, 2016.
Hearing Location(s): Spokane Fire Department Training Center, 1618 North Rebecca Street, Spokane, WA 99217, on September 9, 2016, at 10 a.m.; at the Department of Enterprise Services, 1500 Jefferson Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, on October 14, 2016, at 10 a.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: November 18, 2016.
Submit Written Comments to: Steve Simpson, Council Chair, P.O. Box 91449 [41449], Olympia, WA 98504-1449, e-mail [], fax (360) 586-5366, by October 21, 2016.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Peggy Bryden, council staff, by August 25, 2016, (360) 407-9280.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The purpose of this rule-making proposal is to provide regulatory guidance on life/safety requirements for the cannabis industry as regulated by the Fire Code, chapter 51-54A WAC. It is intended that this will improve conditions for those working in processing/extraction facilities, and enhance life/safety for communities where these facilities are located. Emergency rules are currently in place under WSR 16-13-077 to address life/safety concerns.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The Washington liquor and cannabis board (LCB) regulates licensing for the newly established and fast-growing cannabis industry in Washington state. The legalization of cannabis in Washington provided opportunity for business development in the new industry; legal production and sales began in 2014. As a result, administrative oversight was needed to protect public health and safety as well as the health and safety of industry employees. LCB adopted regulations in WAC 314-55-104 which requires processors using closed loop systems to meet certain standards, and the use of the system and facilities must be in compliance with any required fire, safety, and building code requirements specified in WAC, including the State Building and Fire Codes, NFPA standards and other applicable standards. The state building code council (SBCC) worked with LCB, industry representatives, local officials, and other stakeholders to collaboratively adopt rules to ensure life/safety.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 19.27 RCW.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: SBCC, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Joanne T. McCaughan, 1500 Jefferson Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 407-9279; and Enforcement: Local building officials, local jurisdiction address.
A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.
Small Business Economic Impact Statement
1. Description of compliance requirements: SBCC is filing proposed rules to adopt changes to WAC 51-54A-0105 and 51-54A-3800, the State Fire Code. These changes will establish permanent rules to regulate fire safety in the extraction/processing functions of the cannabis industry. The marijuana extraction businesses are required to be inspected for compliance with the State Fire Code by the local fire marshal, in order to be licensed to produce plant oils. The rule is intended to facilitate the Fire Code inspection by identifying the Fire Code related provisions for marijuana plant oil extraction. The proposed rules apply where hazardous materials are used or equipment is regulated by the existing Fire Code. An engineering report is required for unlisted extraction equipment. An exhaust ventilation system, backup power supply, and gas detection are applicable depending on the type of extraction process and hazard identified.
The proposed WAC 51-54A-0105 covers permits and is being filed to correct citations for operational and construction permits, and WAC sections related to the Fire Code. These marijuana processing/extraction business operations are already required to apply for permits under the Fire Code, per licensing regulations promulgated by LCB.
2. Professional services that a small business is likely to need to comply: To meet fire safety requirements for marijuana processing/extraction requires professional services of a licensed engineer when extraction equipment is not listed. Installation of backup power, exhaust ventilation and gas detection systems require a professional mechanical and electrical contractor.
The proposed rules do not require any additional reporting or recordkeeping for the small business owner. Permits are required under the current Fire Code. Additional time for plan approval is expected under the newly revised rules, for a limited period of time.
3. Costs of compliance including equipment, supplies, labor, professional services, and increased administrative costs: As reviewed for this report, engineering/design bids for unlisted equipment are not to exceed $5,000. Actual costs incurred may be less. The bids include the required technical report, a general process flow diagram, review of construction documents for the building where the equipment is located, and a site inspection to verify conformance with the technical report.
The incremental cost from one manufacturer for listed extraction equipment versus an unlisted product is $8,500. Use of listed equipment avoids the cost of the engineering technical report.
A hazardous exhaust fume hood is required for extraction processes using flammable or combustible liquids. Installation of the fume hood interlocked with electrical components in the extraction area, equipment and labor is estimated at $1,500, where the Fire Code allows a Type II hood based on quantities of combustibles.
Extraction processes using gaseous hydrocarbon based solvents must have a gas detection system. Installation of gas detection system equipment and labor estimated at :$5,000.
An emergency power supply is required for extraction systems using electricity, and where lighting, ventilation, gas detection, emergency alarms or automatic fire extinguishing systems are installed. Installation of emergency power supply equipment and labor estimated at : $10,000.
Systems using over one hundred pounds of carbon dioxide must post a sign indicating the hazard. Estimated cost $100.
Building/fire permits are expected to range from $117 to $800.
The total estimated incremental cost to comply with the rule ranges from $17,000 for an unlisted system using nonflammable or noncombustible liquid or other than gaseous hydrocarbon solvents; to $25,500 for a listed system using flammable or combustible liquid or gaseous hydrocarbon solvents. This assumes these costs are not already required by the Fire Code.
Several estimates submitted by stakeholders included the costs of constructing the building used for extraction at $45,000 to $60,000; and the cost of installing electrical service including panels, wiring, lighting and receptacles, and also including emergency power and gas detection, at $37,000 to $40,000. This report assumes cost for initial build out of the facility, including the cost of a new or refurbished building, would not be impacted by the rule making. Normally expected construction costs are not included in the estimated incremental cost. These are base costs necessary to operate a cannabis extraction business. Emergency power and gas detection are considered separately. 
The proposed rule requires the extraction process to be located in a code compliant building. As with other businesses these facilities will be reviewed using the State Fire Code to determine if they would be classified as hazardous occupancies. If so, then they would need to meet the Fire Code general requirements for hazardous occupancies along with the specific requirements based on the type of hazard present. The proposed rule prohibits locating a marijuana processing business in an assembly (Group A) building, or a school or nursing facility.
4. Small business sales and revenue: The marijuana extraction businesses are required to be inspected for compliance with the State Fire Code by the local fire marshal, in order to be licensed and conduct business. The rule is intended to facilitate the Fire Code inspection by identifying the Fire Code related provisions for marijuana plant oil extraction.
The required engineering report provides a method to allow for the use of equipment that has not been listed by a nationally recognized listing agency for the use. The report requirements are based on administrative requirements that have been tailored to extraction processes. Such reports are used by other industries when listed equipment is not available; manufacturer's detailed specifications can often substitute if sufficient information is presented.
The State Fire Code also permits approval as an "alternative method" which could apply to a piece of equipment or process that has been historically used for botanical extraction in other industries. Thus, the proposed rule provides guidance on approving equipment where no listing exists; and allows for flexibility for the businesses and the code officials, thereby reducing cost impact.
The proposed rule will not cause businesses to lose sales or revenue. The proposed rule provides a path to secure a license needed to conduct business.
5. Disproportionate cost impact on small businesses: The proposed rule will not have a disproportionate impact on small businesses. The Washington Federation of Marijuana Businesses surveyed their membership during July 2016 to help identify potential impacts of the proposed rule making. The data collected indicate that most (ninety-eight percent) of the businesses identified as "processors" have fewer than fifty full-time employees. The cost per employee to meet the fire safety requirements will be uniform across the businesses licensed to extract oils from marijuana. The costs for compliance are similar to costs to comply with the unamended Fire Code.
6. Steps taken by the agency to reduce the costs of the rule on small businesses: The location for extraction operations is broadened from an earlier requirement to have a dedicated room within a production facility, to allow certain operations to take place in a dedicated "area."
The definition of "processing" was modified to limit it to hazardous processes that utilize chemicals or equipment regulated by the Fire Code. This ensures that harvesting, trimming or packaging of the plant is not subject to these rules.
Identification requirements for certain/specific manufacturing/part numbers is eliminated so as to protect proprietary information.
7. How the agency will involve small businesses in the development of the rule: SBCC convened a special TAG on cannabis issues to bring together the affected parties: Representatives of the cannabis industry, building officials, a local clean air agency and state agency representatives including LCB and the department of labor and industries (L&I), fire officials and other entities affected by the rule. The group met seven times over the course of three months to develop the rule(s), reaching consensus on most issues;
SBCC created a special page on the SBCC web site for the cannabis issues TAG to report progress of TAG, meeting minutes, and draft documents.
SBCC developed a stakeholder list in GovDelivery for interested parties to notify them of the activities, purpose and progress of TAG.
SBCC worked with representatives of LCB and L&I to ensure that the code language developed is consistent with other rules and state agency regulations.
SBCC requested information re: Potential impact on small businesses from the "interested parties" list developed during the 2015 code amendment process, and from the 2016 cannabis issues TAG/interested parties list.
SBCC worked with industry partners to assess potential impact by contacting the Washington Federation of Marijuana Businesses to survey their membership.
8. A list of industries that will be required to comply with the rule: Licensed marijuana processors that utilize extraction methods are described in the rule. LCB has issued eight hundred ninety-four licenses for marijuana processors; there are an additional seven hundred licenses pending. A list of the processor businesses is available at
9. An estimate of the number of jobs that will be created or lost: It is estimated that no jobs will be created or lost due to the proposed rule regulating the fire safety of marijuana extraction. The proposed rule facilitates compliance with the Fire Code for businesses seeking a license with LCB.
A copy of the statement may be obtained by contacting Joanne T. McCaughan, SBCC, P.O. Box 41449, Olympia, WA 98504-1449, phone (360) 407-9279, fax (360) 586-5366, e-mail
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328.
June 10, 2016
Steve Simpson
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 16-03-055, filed 1/16/16, effective 7/1/16)
WAC 51-54A-0105 Permits.
105.1.1 Permits required. Any property owner or authorized agent who intends to conduct an operation or business, or install or modify systems and equipment, which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done shall first make application to the fire code official and obtain the required permit.
105.6.4 Carbon dioxide systems. An operational permit is required for carbon dioxide systems having more than 100 pounds of carbon dioxide.
(( 105.6.49 Marijuana extraction systems. An operational permit is required to use a marijuana/cannabis extraction system regulated under WAC 314-55-104.
105.7.19 Marijuana extraction systems. A construction permit is required to install a marijuana/cannabis extraction system regulated under WAC ((244-55-104 [WAC 314-55-104])) 314-55-104.
105.7.20 Underground supply piping for automatic sprinkler system. A construction permit is required for the installation of the portion of the underground water supply piping, public or private, supplying a water-based fire protection system. The permit shall apply to all underground piping and appurtenances downstream of the first control valve on the lateral piping or service line from the distribution main to one foot above finished floor of the facility with the fire protection system. Maintenance performed in accordance with this code is not considered to be a modification and does not require a permit.
1. When the underground piping is installed by the aboveground piping contractor.
2. Underground piping serves a fire protection system installed in accordance with NFPA 13D.
WAC 51-54A-3800 Marijuana processing or extraction facilities.
3801.1 Scope. Facilities used for marijuana processing or extraction that utilize chemicals or equipment as regulated by the International Fire Code shall comply with this chapter and the International Building Code. The extraction process includes the act of extraction of the oils and fats by use of a solvent, desolventizing of the raw material and production of the miscella, distillation of the solvent from the miscella and solvent recovery. The use, storage, transfilling, and handling of hazardous materials in these facilities shall comply with this chapter and the International Building Code.
3801.2 Application. The requirements set forth in this chapter are requirements specific only to marijuana processing and extraction facilities and shall be applied as exceptions or additions to applicable requirements set forth elsewhere in this code.
3801.2.1 For the purposes of this chapter, marijuana processing and extraction shall be limited to those processes and extraction methods that utilize chemicals defined as hazardous by the International Fire Code and are regulated as such. Such processes and extraction methods shall meet the requirements of this chapter and other applicable requirements elsewhere in this code and its referenced standards.
Provisions of WAC 314-55-104 do not apply to this chapter.
3801.2.2 The use of equipment regulated by the International Fire Code for either marijuana processing or marijuana extraction shall meet the requirements of this chapter and other applicable requirements elsewhere in this code.
3801.3 Multiple hazards. Where a material, its use or the process it is associated with poses multiple hazards, all hazards shall be addressed in accordance with Section 5001.1 and other material specific chapters.
3801.4 Existing building or facilities. Existing buildings or facilities used for the processing of marijuana shall comply with this chapter.
3801.5 Permits. Permits shall be required as set forth in Section 105.6 and 105.7.
Desolventizing. The act of removing a solvent from a material.
Finding. The results of an inspection, examination, analysis or review.
Marijuana processing. Processing that uses chemicals or equipment as regulated by the International Fire Code; this does not include the harvesting, trimming, or packaging of the plant.
Miscella. A mixture, in any proportion, of the extracted oil or fat and the extracting solvent.
Observation. A practice or condition not technically noncompliant with other regulations or requirements, but could lead to noncompliance if left unaddressed.
Transfilling. The process of taking a gas source, either compressed or in liquid form (usually in bulk containers), and transferring it into a different container (usually a smaller compressed cylinder).
3803.1 Location. Marijuana processing shall be located in a building complying with the International Building Code and this code. Requirements applied to the building shall be based upon the specific needs for mitigation of the specific hazards identified.
3803.2 Systems, equipment and processes. Systems, equipment, and processes shall be in accordance with Sections 3803.2.1 through 3803.2.7. In addition to the requirements of this chapter, electrical equipment shall be listed or evaluated for electrical fire and shock hazard in accordance with RCW 19.28.010(1).
3803.2.1 Application. Systems, equipment and processes shall include, but are not limited to, vessels, chambers, containers, cylinders, tanks, piping, tubing, valves, fittings, and pumps.
3803.2.2 General requirements. In addition to the requirements in Section 3803, systems, equipment and processes shall also comply with Section 5003.2, other applicable provisions of this code, the International Building Code, and the International Mechanical Code. The use of ovens in post-process purification or winterization shall comply with Section 3803.2.7.
3803.2.3 Systems and equipment. Systems or equipment used for the extraction of oils from plant material shall be listed and approved for the specific use. If the system used for extraction of oils and products from plant material is not listed, then a technical report prepared by a Washington licensed engineer shall be provided to the code official for review and approval.
3803.2.4 Change of extraction medium. Where the medium of extraction or solvent is changed from the material indicated in the technical report, or as required by the manufacturer, the technical report shall be revised at the cost of the facility owner, and submitted for review and approval by the fire code official prior to the use of the equipment with the new medium or solvent.
3803.2.5 Required technical report. The technical report documenting the equipment design shall be submitted for review and approval by the fire code official prior to the equipment being installed at the facility.
3803.2.5.1 Content of technical report and engineering analysis. All, but not limited to, the items listed below shall be included in the technical report.
1. Manufacturer information.
2. Engineer of record information.
3. Date of review and report revision history.
4. Signature page shall include:
4.1 Author of the report;
4.2 Date of report;
4.3 Seal, date and signature of engineer of record performing the design; and
5. Model number of the item evaluated. If the equipment is provided with a serial number, the serial number shall be included for verification at the time of site inspection.
6. Methodology of the design review process used to determine minimum safety requirements. Methodology shall consider the basis of design, and shall include a code analysis and code path to demonstrate the reason why specific codes or standards are applicable or not.
7. Equipment description. A list of all components and subassemblies of the system or equipment, indicating the material, solvent compatibility, maximum temperature and pressure limits.
8. A general flow schematic or general process flow diagram (PFD) of the process, including maximum temperatures, pressures and solvent state of matter shall be identified in each step or component. It shall provide maximum operating temperature and pressure in the system.
9. Analysis of the vessel(s) if pressurized beyond standard atmospheric pressure. Analysis shall include purchased and fabricated components.
10. Structural analysis for the frame system supporting the equipment.
11. Process safety analysis of the extraction system, from the introduction of raw product to the end of the extraction process.
12. Comprehensive process hazard analysis considering failure modes and points of failure throughout the process. This portion of the review should include review of emergency procedure information provided by the manufacturer of the equipment or process and not that of the facility, building or room.
13. Review of the assembly instructions, operational and maintenance manuals provided by the manufacturer.
14. Report shall include findings and observations of the analysis.
15. List of references used in the analysis.
3803.2.6 Building analysis. The technical report, provided by the engineer of record, shall include a review of the construction documents for location, room, space or building and include recommendations to the fire code official.
3803.2.6.1 Site inspection. The engineer of record of the equipment shall inspect the installation of the extraction equipment for conformance with the technical report and provide documentation to the fire code official that the equipment was installed in conformance with the approved design.
3803.2.7 Post-process purification and winterization. Post-processing and winterization involving the heating or pressurizing of the miscella shall be approved and performed in an appliance listed for such use. Domestic or commercial cooking appliances shall not be used. The use of industrial ovens shall comply with Chapter 30.
An automatic fire extinguishing system shall not be required for batch-type Class A ovens having less than 3.0 cubic feet of work space.
3803.3 Construction requirements.
3803.3.1 Location. Marijuana extraction shall not be located in any building containing a Group A, E, I or R occupancy.
3803.3.1.1 Extraction room. The extraction equipment and processes utilizing hydrocarbon solvents shall be located in a room or area dedicated to extraction.
3803.3.2 Egress. When a marijuana extraction room is provided, at least one exit, swinging in the direction of egress travel shall be provided with an automatic door closing device and panic hardware.
3803.3.2.1 Facility egress. Egress requirements shall be in compliance with Chapter 10 of the International Building Code.
3803.3.3 Ventilation. Ventilation shall be provided in compliance with Chapter 4 of the International Mechanical Code.
3803.3.4 Control area. Control areas shall comply with Section 5003.8.3.
3803.3.5 Ignition source control. Extraction equipment and processes using flammable or combustible gas or liquid solvents shall be provided with ventilation rates for the room to maintain the concentration of flammable constituents in air below 25% of the lower flammability limit of the respective solvent. If not provided with the required ventilation rate, Class I Division II electrical requirements shall apply to the entire room.
3803.3.6 Interlocks. When a hazardous exhaust system is provided, all electrical components within the extraction room or area shall be interlocked with the hazardous exhaust system, and when provided, the gas detection system. When the hazardous exhaust system is not operational, then light switches and electrical outlets shall be disabled. Activation of the gas detection system shall disable all light switches and electrical outlets.
3803.3.7 Emergency power.
3803.3.7.1 Emergency power for extraction process. Where power is required for the operation of the extraction process, an automatic emergency power source in accordance with Section 5004.7 and 604 shall be provided. The emergency power source shall have sufficient capacity to allow safe shutdown of the extraction process plus an additional 2 hours of capacity beyond the shutdown process.
3803.3.7.2 Emergency power for other than extraction process. An automatic emergency power system in accordance with Section 604 shall be provided when any of the following items are installed:
1. Extraction room lighting;
2. Extraction room ventilation system;
3. Solvent gas detection system;
4. Emergency alarm systems;
5. Automatic fire extinguishing systems.
3803.3.8 Continuous gas detection system. For extraction processes utilizing gaseous hydrocarbon-based solvents, a continuous gas detection system shall be provided. The gas detection threshold shall not exceed 25% of the LEL/LFL limit of the materials.
3803.4 Carbon dioxide enrichment or extraction. Extraction processes using carbon dioxide shall comply with this section.
3803.4.1 Scope. Carbon dioxide systems with more than 100 pounds of carbon dioxide shall comply with Sections 3803.4 through 3803.4.3. This section is applicable to carbon dioxide systems utilizing compressed gas systems, liquefied-gas systems, dry ice, or on-site carbon dioxide generation.
3803.4.2 Permits. Permits shall be required as set forth in Sections 105.6 and 105.7.
3803.4.3 Signage. At the entrance to each area using or storing carbon dioxide, signage shall be posted indicating the hazard. Signs shall be durable and permanent in nature and not less than 7 inches wide by 10 inches tall. Signs shall bear the warning "DANGER! POTENTIAL OXYGEN DEFICIENT ATMOSPHERE." NFPA 704 signage shall be provided at the building main entry and the rooms where the carbon dioxide is used and stored.
3803.5 Flammable or combustible liquid. The use of a flammable or combustible liquid for the extraction of oils and fats from marijuana shall comply with this section.
3803.5.1 Scope. The use of flammable and combustible liquids for liquid extraction processes where the liquid is boiled, distilled, or evaporated shall comply with this section and NFPA 30.
3803.5.2 Location. The process using a flammable or combustible liquid shall be located within a hazardous exhaust fume hood, rated for exhausting flammable vapors. Electrical equipment used within the hazardous exhaust fume hood shall be listed or approved for use in flammable atmospheres. Heating of flammable or combustible liquids over an open flame is prohibited.