Energy and Environmental Standards for Cannabis Businesses Now in Effect

July 17, 2020

As of July 1, 2020, all applications for licenses to operate adult-use marijuana establishments and medical marijuana treatment centers (“Establishments”) must comply with the Cannabis Control Commission’s (the “Commission”) energy efficiency, environmental, and reporting standards set forth in 935 CMR 500.000 and 501.000.

Specifically, each such Establishment’s management and operations profile must include a summary of its written operating procedures regarding energy efficiency and conservation methods.  These operating procedures must include: (i) an energy use reduction plan, (ii) consideration of opportunities for renewable energy generation, (iii) plans to reduce electricity demand, and (iv) the Establishment’s engagement with state and/or municipal light energy efficiency programs.

Cultivation Establishments must also comply with energy efficiency and environmental standards, including maintaining written operating procedures that demonstrate their compliance with the energy efficiency standards in the regulations.  After the Commission issues a cultivation provisional license, a cultivation Establishment must demonstrate that its proposed facility meets specific regulations concerning lighting standards, air handling requirements, and general building envelope standards. This takes the form of an energy compliance letter, which is generally prepared and signed by a Massachusetts licensed professional engineer or licensed registered architect.

The energy compliance letter must be submitted to the Commission during the architectural review stage of the cultivation Establishment’s licensure application process, and at each time the cultivation Establishment renews its licenses.  However, if a cultivation Establishment needs additional time to submit the energy compliance letter, the Commission will consider granting a six-month extension provided the cultivation Establishment monitors and reports on its energy usage, water usage, waste production, and other data as the Commission may require.

Guidance on the specific terms and requirements of the energy efficiency, environmental, and reporting standards can be found in the Commission’s Energy and Environmental Compiled Guidance, which also provides a checklist for Establishments to reference as they complete their licensure applications or renewals.

Please join Enlighten Your Grow and Prince Lobel Tye on Thursday July 23, 2020 as we host a webinar providing greater detail into the Commission’s energy and environmental regulations. For more information click here.

Also, please feel free to contact the authors of this alert, Prince Lobel Attorneys Adam Braillard (, Julie Barry (, or Sam Milton of Climate Resources Group  (, with any questions in connection with these regulations and how they apply to your Establishment.

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