Cannabis Company Accused of Illegally Dumping Ethanol

Posted on 7/12/2019 by Lauren Scott

A marijuana production facility has been indicted by Federal prosecutors for the alleged illegal disposal of over 1,500 lbs. of hazardous waste on various properties within San Diego County, CA.

The seven-page indictment, filed on June 27, 2019, alleges that the marijuana company paid an unlicensed garbage hauler in cash to dump 28 drums filled with ethanol waste at at least five separate, unlicensed locations in San Diego and El Cajon, California.


Prosecutors allege that one of the co-owners and a facility administrator conspired to knowingly transport and dispose of the hazardous waste without a manifest, receipts, invoices, or paperwork to these unpermitted sites.

The indictment also claims these alleged illegal disposals began in February 2018, seven months before the company received a Conditional Use Permit to operate the 7,200 square foot marijuana production facility.

Ethanol as a Hazardous Waste

Ethanol is a regulated hazardous waste that is often used as a solvent when processing THC and cannabis oil. With a flash point of less than 140°F, ethanol is characterized as a hazardous waste for its ignitability.

This ignitability makes ethanol a common source of fires at marijuana processing facilities. According to a San Diego County spokesperson, the Environmental Health Department responds to roughly 30 incidents annually of "fires, explosions, and endangerment to the public" caused by THC and cannabis oil operations.

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Stay up to date on the latest hazardous wCalifornia_shutterstock_60223123.jpgaste regulations that CA managers and personnel must know with Lion’s California Hazardous Waste Management course. Learn to navigate and apply California’s unique Title 22 regulations to real-world scenarios so you can go back to your facility with the confidence to manage your site’s wastes, activities, and off-site shipments. Can’t make time for an in-person workshop? Take the course online, at your own pace, from any computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Tags: California, cannabis, enforcement, EPA, ethanol, hazardous waste, marijuana, Title 22

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