by Adrian Giovenco and Jim Megerson
Founded in 2010, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) is the oldest, largest, and most active trade association serving the cannabis industry. As a national advocate for all cannabis businesses, NCIA works every day to advance policy reforms favorable to the whole industry through its advocacy, education and commitment to inclusion and cultivating community. This translates to a membership base representing hundreds of legal cannabis businesses and thousands of professionals who know that we are stronger and more impactful when we work together to uplift the entire industry.
NCIA committees are an opportunity for members to get directly involved in specific industry issues and sectors. These volunteer-driven efforts engage members’ knowledge to drill down in areas of expertise to effect change, provide professional development opportunities, and develop best practices and guidelines that will shape the future of our industry.
The Facilities Design Committee focuses on providing NCIA members, regulators, and cannabis professionals a framework and information about facilities design best practices through which legal producers can plan for GMP level production as the market transitions from a state to a federally regulated industry in the future. As it turns out, incorporating safe handling, quality control, GMPs/GACPs, and energy and resource efficiencies into your business model from the beginning stages helps to make a business more profitable and respected even without the regulatory requirements. If not planned for appropriately, many cannabis businesses may find themselves up against stringent deadlines and potential shut-down when these federal regulations go into effect. These best practices also become important when considering the increasing prevalence of price compression and increased labor and energy costs. If the question is “when should we plan for the future in our business and facility plans?”, the answer is a resounding “NOW!” The future may be closer than realized.
As more states enter the medical and recreational cannabis economies there is an opportunity for the past lessons learned to be incorporated earlier on in the evolution, whether it be state cannabis regulations; building and energy codes like California’s Title 24, which became the first state to include Indoor Plant Environments as a “Covered Process” as of Jan. 1; or general supply and demand market dynamics. The knowledge and experience exists and it is simply a matter of searching it out, listening and learning. At the Facilities Design Committee we are lucky to have representation from virtually every discipline involved in designing, building, and operating all types of cannabis facilities: architects, cultivators, contractors, engineers, manufacturers, consultants, systems integrators, commissioning agents and more.
The Facilities Design Committee supports the industry with these past experiences directly and indirectly through informative blog posts, deep dive webinars, podcasts, speaking events and others. If you are involved in the cannabis industry, we urge you to connect with us and join the community in making a real impact. You can access all the content that NCIA’s 14 committees share with the cannabis community at https://thecannabisindustry.org/.
Adrian Giovenco is founder and CEO of InSpire Transpiration Solutions and chair of NCIA’s Facilities Design Committee. Jim Megerson is founder and president of Anvil Agrinomics and a member of NCIA’s Facilities Design Committee.