February 18, 2021
The United States of America has been slowly releasing its hold on the restrictions of cannabis. This process has been happening at a state level since 1973 with the “liberalizing” of Oregon’s cannabis laws. State restrictions lifted further in 1996 with states beginning to legalize the use of medicinal marijuana and even more so in 2011, with more and more states opting to legalize recreational use.
Since then, marijuana cultivation and processing facilities have been popping up all over the country. Even with the authorization at the state level to construct and run these facilities, owners and investors were taking a large risk at the federal level. This has prevented many from being able to enter this market.
On February 1, 2021, CNBC reported that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic senators said they will push to pass legislation this year that would end the federal prohibition on marijuana. The trio also said they would “protect public health and implement responsible taxes and regulations.” With federal legalization on the horizon, we are sure to see an increase in the construction and maintenance of cannabis facilities. This is a fantastic opportunity for resinous flooring contractors.
Many states currently have regulations in place regarding the building materials used in cannabis facilities. Flooring typically follows FDA standards for food manufacturing plants and nutraceutical plants: “constructed of material that is smooth, nonporous, easily cleanable, corrosion-resistant,” and “built of durable materials impervious to moisture and be cleaned and sanitized as necessary to prevent adulteration of product.” To fit these regulations, and to prevent untimely and costly shutdowns, many cannabis facilities have opted for resinous flooring systems.
Seamless floors have become the preferred specification for sanitized environments. They eliminate seams and crevices which can collect moisture and promote bacterial growth. Whether the cannabis facility is for cultivating, extracting, and or processing, seamless floors are an excellent choice as their innate qualities protect the plants, byproducts, and anyone walking on the floors.
Epoxy and cementitious urethane flooring systems are recommended for applications where wet processing, chemical contamination, and high temperature cleaning are regular occurrences. These systems meet the strict safety guidelines in the cannabis production industry and address the most critical needs. As with all facilities, Dur-A-Flex does not recommend a one-size-fits-all approach to this market.
Contractors should understand the needs of each individual room and its environment before recommending a flooring solution. Some questions that immediately come to mind include:
- Is moisture or elevated salts a concern with the current flooring?
- What will be the humidity levels in the room?
- Is texture and slip resistance a concern?
- What chemicals, fertilizers, or extreme pH substances will come in contact with the floor?
- Is thermal cycling a concern?
The answers to these type of questions will determine which flooring systems will best address the needs of the space and perform the best.
Dur-A-Flex offers a versatile family of epoxy and urethane flooring systems with multiple top coat options for added chemical and moisture resistance. A floor system can be built to fit the individual needs of most facilities, whether it is budgeting, environmental, or for aesthetic purposes.
Common Systems found in Cannabis Facilities
DUR-A-GARD (20 MIL) WITH ARMOR TOP TOPCOAT A seamless epoxy flooring system built for industrial and commercial applications, finished with a urethane topcoat which offers excellent wear resistance as well as stain and chemical resistance.
DUR-A-GARD SL (60 MIL) WITH ARMOR TOP TOPCOAT A seamless epoxy self-leveling system with a natural quartz aggregate filler. A urethane topcoat offers excellent wear, stain, and chemical resistance.
POLY-CRETE SLB WITH SHOP FLOOR/ARMOR TOP TOPCOAT (OR ACCELERA) A seamless self-leveling cementitious urethane system that offers moisture mitigating properties and slip resistance. Adding a urethane topcoat ensures wear, chemical, and stain resistance. If you are a flooring contractor looking to do more work in this market, please feel free to reach out to your local Dur-A-Flex representative. They will be more than happy to discuss these facilities with you.
Author: Jes Grant
Jes Grant is the content development manager for Dur-A-Flex. She has over 15 years of experience creating content for various technical industries, and has been featured in several publications for her writing and design work.