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MBARD rules and regulations may apply to various aspects of the cannabis industry. This may include the need to obtain one or more permits or registrations. Certain equipment items have emission standards that must be met upon installing and/or replacing existing equipment (e.g., boilers/heaters and diesel engines) as well as future compliance deadlines for existing equipment. The following summarizes the possible requirements.

Cannabis Operations: Cannabis manufacturing and processing using organic solvents such as butane, propane, and ethanol have a potential to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  In addition, operation such as cannabis leaves preparation may result in the release of particulate matters. MBARD requires permits for many cannabis operations.  Please see our Notification and Clarification of Permit Requirements for Cannabis Operations for detailed information on the permitting requirements for cannabis operations. Depending on the size of cannabis operation, requirements such as a Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and emission offsets may be required.  The growing and harvesting of cannabis crops is considered an agricultural operation, and therefore exempt from permit requirements pursuant to MBARD Rule 201 Section 4.2.

Odors:  The strong odors associated with cannabis manufacturing operations can negatively affect the surrounding community and cause a public nuisance.  MBARD recommends that cannabis projects be initially designed to minimize odor impacts and incorporate odor control systems to prevent offsite odors and public complaints. Carbon filters installed within the ventilation system are required to be replaced at a frequency that public nuisance is not created.

Boilers and Heaters: Permits are required for any individual (or grouping) of boilers or heaters with a rated heat over 2.0 million BTUs per hour (MMBtu/hr). For detailed information, see MBARD’s Boilers and Heaters Webpage. Boilers used for cannabis cultivation are exempt from permit requirements as long as the actual emissions from this equipment plus those requiring a permit are less than 50% of the major source threshold.

Internal Combustion Engines: Diesel fired or spark ignited engine generator sets and firewater pumps with engines rated at 50 bhp and greater require a permit.  For detailed information, see the MBARD’s Engine Webpage.


Clarification of Permit Requirements for Cannabis Operations


 Who Needs a Permit?

A Permit to Operate is required for each of the following equipment and operation:

  • Cannabis leaves processing/preparation area equipped with either a dust collection system, or an odor control system.
  • Hash oil extraction systems with using organic solvents (i.e. butane, propane, ethanol etc.). Extraction systems using CO2, water or coconut oil are exempt.
  • Hash oil processing/separation via organic solvents (i.e. rotatory evaporator, short-path distillation).
  • Tanks, containers or reservoirs used to store ethanol, or an organic solvent with an initial boiling point of less than 300 degree Fahrenheit, or with an organic vapor pressure greater than 0.5 mm Hg (0.1 psi absolute) at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and having a capacity of greater than 250 gallons, pursuant to Rule 417 Storage of Organic Liquids. 
  • Natural gas and/or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fired boiler, or other closed heat transfer systems, with an individual heat input of equal to or greater than 2 million Btu/hr.
  • Fuel oil fired boiler, or other closed heat transfer systems, with an individual heat input of equal to or greater than 0.25 million Btu/Hr.
  • Emergency or prime use internal combustion engines, rated equal to or greater than 50 brake horsepower.

Permit Fees 

New Installations:

New installation of equipment for cannabis operations is required to submit a one-time NEW APPLICATION fee for applying Authority to Construct/ Permit to Operate. (See Permit Application Completeness Determination)

Annual Renewal Fees:

Cannabis manufacturing and processing are subject to annual renewal fees per Rule 300.

Permit Application Completeness Determination

An application will not be accepted for processing until it is deemed complete. The following will be required in order for MBARD to make a completeness determination:

After receiving the Authority to Construct, the facility is required to conduct a 30-day start-up period for recording the daily solvent loss from hash oil extraction and hash oil processing. The following sample logs may help you to comply with the data recording requirements:

  • Hash Oil Extraction Daily Log
  • Hash Oil Extraction Monthly Log
  • Ethanol Loss For Hash Oil Processing Daily Log
  • Hash Oil Processing Monthly Log

Documents / Forms