Business of Engineering

Engineering for the emerging marijuana industry

Brian Clark, senior project manager at RTM Engineering Consultants looks at the future of the marijuana industry.

By Brian Clark April 3, 2020
Many edible cannabis options are available on the market. Courtesy: CFE Media and Technology

The marijuana market is growing within the United States. Recreational marijuana is now legal in eleven states and Washington, D.C., and medical marijuana is legal in 33 states. As more states move toward legalization, the number of facilities for growth and cultivation, extraction, and dispensation is increasing rapidly.

RTM Engineering Consultants is establishing itself as a leading firm in this emerging market. Our team has experience working on multiple projects within the industry. We are familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities for each type of facility, and we are looking toward the future.

Expertise in a new industry

Designing facilities in the marijuana industry is a relatively new area of expertise, but our team has completed a wide range of projects in other verticals that have similar requirements. For example, extraction facilities need to have cleanroom environments for filling products, and many of the design criteria are comparable to those of pharmacies.

Adapting to changing regulations

RTM has offices across the country, including Colorado, California, and Washington, states that legalized recreational or medical marijuana years ago. When we start a project, we are able to lean on team members in these regional offices for their expertise in code requirements, local and state regulations, and other guidelines. Because the laws and codes are changing constantly, we have to read the latest codes, stay updated on new research, and get information from code reviewers during the design process.

Future industry potential

The marijuana market has enormous growth potential. Just by looking back on the last decade, we can predict that the marketplace will continue to expand in the next decade. We’re also aware that cultural views of marijuana are still evolving and may differ depending on factors such as location and demographic.

This article originally appeared on RTM Associates’ websiteRTM Associates is a CFE Media content partner. 

Brian Clark
Author Bio: Brian Clark, senior project manager, RTM Engineering Consultants