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Cannabis Facilities Incidents

Around the world, the cannabis industry poses complex operational requirements for growing and extraction facilities. Improperly specified or installed equipment, equipment maintenance, and facility design can pose many hazards. All of these factors are important to understand in the case of property and liability claims and safety.

Indoor cannabis growth requires specific equipment, lighting, control systems, and HVAC. Indoor grow rooms have become more prevalent over the years because they are more easily monitored and protected from bad weather, harmful insects, and pesticide overspray. However, if proper protocols and designs are not followed, that control can come at a price.

Our experts have experience investigating incidents in cannabis facilities, determining their origin and cause and liability. We have conducted fire investigations, analyzed mechanical and electrical failures, and more.

Indoor Grow Facility Lighting

Because plants rely on photosynthesis for growth, proper lighting is essential for cannabis growth and abundant yields. Indoor facilities require specific lighting to mimic the sun, such as:

  • Fluorescent lighting, which is energy-efficient and inexpensive to purchase and install, has low heat stress and can be tailored to use in grow facilities, is suitable for smaller spaces, and can produce smaller yields but is not always suitable for taller plants
  • High-intensity discharge (HID), which is easier to use than fluorescent lightning as there is no need to adjust distance regularly, produces intense light and heat for higher yields, has limited life, sometimes requires additional ventilation, and uses more parts in the assembly
  • Light-emitting diode (LED), which allows temperature control, is energy-efficient, has low heat stress, has a long life, and can aid in reducing fungus and mold growth

These types of lightning emit varying levels of heat and can use a lot of electricity. If these lamps are too close to combustible materials or fail, they can quickly start a fire.

HVAC and Ventilation

Cannabis plants consistently pull water by transpiration through leaves, and the water evaporation adds humidity to the facility. For cannabis to grow correctly, it must have proper:

  • Ventilation, to prevent mold and fungus growth and distribute heat and humidity
  • Filtration, to prevent outside contaminants or pathogens from entering the facility​
  • Heat, with temperature increases resulting in faster rates of photosynthesis
  • Humidity, 60 –to 70% RH ideal for growth ​
  • Cooling, when environment or lighting levels using HID are high​
  • Atmosphere, sometimes enriched with CO2 (1000-1500ppm) to improve yields​

​Electrical Failures

Electrical failures in a cannabis growing facility can be due to many factors, such as:

  • Ground fault​
  • Electrical overload​
  • Arcing fault​
  • Shock​
  • Electrocution​
  • Heat​
  • Fire​
  • Water​
  • Corrosion

Other Cannabis Facility Risks

  • Mold
  • Irrigation failures
  • Human factors for manufacturing
  • IoT monitoring failures
  • Pollution/California Proposition 65
  • Theft

Grow Facility Investigation Expertise

Whether your cannabis facility has experienced a fire, explosion, or other issues, our experts have the experience and knowledge to assist you in mitigating and preventing it from happening again.

Our experts' experience in investigating cannabis facility incidents means that they are familiar with all applicable codes and standards and understand the specific risks involved with cannabis growth and extraction. We assess all necessary documentation, equipment, and processes, and provide clarity on the root cause of your particular loss.

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