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It’s not easy being green, but regulators are increasingly holding cannabis businesses accountable for maintaining sustainable practices. 

More states and municipalities are incorporating sustainability requirements into license applications and regulations. Additionally, cannabis companies that violate the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act are facing federal enforcement actions. 

As cannabis companies expand into new states it can be extremely challenging to maintain the required environmental permits and licenses and adhere to all applicable regulations, which, of course, vary from state to state. 

“In most cases, noncompliance with environmental regulations is likely unintentional and stems from a lack of in or out-of-house personnel with experience in EHS law,” said Marc Ross, co-chair of Denver law firm Vicente Sederberg’s newly launched environment health and safety (EHS) practice.

Vicente Sederberg started the EHS practice to help cannabis businesses navigate the sometimes murky waters of complying with sustainability requirements. The practice will focus on helping marijuana and hemp businesses maintain compliance with state and local EHS rules as well as federal regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational  Safety and Health Administration and other agencies.

“EHS is an area in which cannabis companies may be highly exposed to regulatory enforcement actions,” said Michelle Bodian, a senior associate attorney and co-chair of Vicente Sederberg’s EHC practice group. “Noncompliance can result in significant civil or criminal liability for not only the businesses but also the individuals who operate them. With enforcement activities ramping up, it is more important than ever for operators to understand their obligations and engage relevant resources to help them navigate these nuanced issues.”

Vicente Sederberg’s EHS practice offers cannabis companies a variety of services related to compliance and permitting; land use and real estate; litigation and enforcement; sustainability and environmental social and governance matters. 

On September 22, Vicente Sederberg’s EHC practice will host a free online review of the environmental laws and regulations that most commonly impact the cannabis industry. The webinar will cover lessons learned from recent environmental enforcement actions and will highlight sustainability opportunities that result in cost savings. Visit for more details and to register for the event. 

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