Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 3. Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control
Agency 10. Virginia Cannabis Control Authority
Chapter 50. Cannabis Products
4/18/2024

3VAC10-50-60. Use of hydrocarbon-based solvents or other flammable solvents.

A. The following words and phrases used in this section have the following meaning:

1. "Closed-loop system" means machinery in which volatile hydrocarbon substances are self-contained without the loss or escape of those substances.

2. "Flammable solvent" means a liquid that has a flash point below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Flammable solvents include hydrocarbon-based solvents.

3. "Hydrocarbon-based solvent" means a type of solvent composed of hydrogen and carbon compounds, such as N-butane, isobutene, propane, or any isomer or combination thereof.

B. Hydrocarbon-based solvents may be used in the cultivation, extraction, production, or manufacturing of cannabis products provided that:

1. A pharmaceutical processor complies with all requirements in this section.

2. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents shall comply with all regulations regarding use of hydrocarbon-based solvents in general industrial use as promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and published in 29 CFR 1910 or any subsequent regulation governing such use, including regulations governing:

a. Ventilation requirements;

b. Air contaminants; and

c. Hazard communication.

3. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents shall comply with any requirements issued by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry regarding use of hydrocarbon-based solvents.

4. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents shall comply with any requirements issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality regarding use of hydrocarbon-based solvents promulgated.

5. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents maintains sole responsibility for any adverse outcomes or violations of state or federal laws or regulations caused by such use.

6. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents shall ensure that all equipment, counters, and surfaces used in the cultivation, extraction, production, or manufacturing of cannabis products are food-grade and do not react adversely with any hydrocarbon solvent used. All counters and surface areas shall be constructed in a manner that reduces the potential development of microbials, molds, and fungi and can be easily cleaned.

7. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents shall ensure that any room in which hydrocarbon-based solvents will be used contains an emergency eye-wash station.

8. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents shall ensure that a professional grade, closed-loop extraction system capable of recovering solvent is used in the cultivation, extraction, production, or manufacturing of cannabis products.

a. Closed-loop extraction systems must be commercially manufactured and bear a permanently affixed and visible serial number.

b. A pharmaceutical processor using a closed-loop extraction system must obtain certification from a licensed engineer that certifies that the system was commercially manufactured, is safe for its intended use, and is built to codes of recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices, such as the following: (i) the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); (ii) American National Standards Institute (ANSI); (iii) Underwriters Laboratories (UL); or (iv) the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

c. The certification must contain the signature and stamp of a professional engineer and include the serial number of the extraction unit certified.

9. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents shall obtain a safety data sheet for each hydrocarbon-based solvent used and store such data sheet on the premises. All such records shall be subject to inspection by the board.

10. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents shall develop standard operating procedures, good manufacturing practices, and a training plan prior to using such solvents. Standard operating procedures shall specifically address:

a. Safe and proper handling and use of hydrocarbon-based solvents;

b. Safe and proper operation of machinery and equipment;

c. Adequate cleaning and maintenance of machinery and equipment;

d. Incident reporting for any instances where the operator does not follow the stated standard operating procedures that identifies (i) the operator's name; (ii) the date and time of the incident; (iii) the supervising employees to which the incident report will be sent; and (iv) an incident summary that includes whether any cannabis products or other substances escaped from the closed-loop system, the amount of escaped material, whether the material was destroyed, and how the incident was resolved; and

e. Safe and proper disposal of waste created during processes using hydrocarbon-based solvents.

11. A pharmaceutical processor using hydrocarbon-based solvents shall ensure that any person using such solvents in a closed-loop system:

a. Is fully trained on how to use the system;

b. Has direct access to applicable material safety data sheets; and

c. Handles and stores the solvents safely.

C. If a pharmaceutical processor intends to use a flammable solvent, then a designated industrial hygienist or professional engineer that is not an employee of the pharmaceutical processor must:

1. Establish a maximum amount of flammable solvents and other flammable materials that may be stored within the pharmaceutical processor facility in accordance with applicable laws and regulations;

2. Determine what type of electrical equipment must be installed within the room in which flammable solvents are to be stored in accordance with applicable laws and regulations;

3. Determine whether a gas monitoring system must be installed within the room in which flammable solvents are to be used or stored, and if required, the system's specifications in accordance with applicable laws and regulations;

4. Determine whether a fire suppression system must be installed within the room in which the flammable solvents are to be used or stored, and if required, the system's specifications in accordance with applicable laws and regulations; and

5. Determine whether a fume vent hood or exhaust system must be installed within the room in which a flammable solvent will be used, and if required, the system's specifications in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

D. If a pharmaceutical processor makes a material change to its use of flammable solvents in any part of the manufacturing process, a designated industrial hygienist or professional engineer who is not an employee of the pharmaceutical processor must recertify the standard operating procedures for use of flammable solvents determined under subsection C of this section.

E. A pharmaceutical processor shall maintain copies of all reports generated by or received from the designated industrial hygienist or professional engineer for inspection by the board.

F. A pharmaceutical processor shall not store more flammable solvents onsite that exceeds the maximum amount allowable as identified by the designated industrial hygienist or professional engineer.

G. A pharmaceutical processor shall ensure that all appropriate safety and sanitary equipment, including personal protective equipment, is provided to and appropriately used by each employee handling a flammable solvent.

H. The board shall approve chemicals for use as hydrocarbon or other flammable solvents in the cultivation, extraction, production, or manufacturing of cannabis products based on availability of testing for residual material of individual solvents.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-601, 4.1-604, and 4.1-606 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 40, Issue 11, eff. January 1, 2024.

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