Before operating as a cannabis business, you need to pass a BFS inspection.
The Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) is an agency that conducts fire inspections, and provide fire prevention and training to the firefighters of Michigan.
However, in 2016, BFS became involved in the cannabis business fire inspection.
Below, we outlined exactly what you can expect during this process.
What is BFS Plan Review?
The Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) requires every applying entity to complete the BFS Plan Review.
Plan reviews are required for the fire and life safety for the following cannabis businesses:
- All grow facilities
- Designated consumption establishments
In most instances, provisioning centers, secure transporters and safety compliance facilities aren’t required to complete plan review.
Additionally, plan reviews are required for:
- New construction
- Remolding of existing buildings
- Renovations to existing facilities
- Equipment changes made to currently approved facilities
Before completing plan review as a new facility, a BFS plan review application and facility plans are required.
Therefore, it’s vital to that your facility plans contain the following details:
- Architect sign and seal
- Wall and ceiling materials and finishes
- Life safety floor plan
- Electrical floor plan
- Mechanical floor plan
- Furniture/fixture floor plan
- Site Plan
Processors are required to submit these additional details:
- Solvents used for extraction
- Hood or enclosure location and type
- Equipment data sheets
- Detail on extraction booth or room construction, protection, detection, emergency power, interlocking and ventilation as applicable
- Details on extraction booth or room exit door swing and panic hardware
- Transfilling Details
After submission, a unique BFS Project Number is assigned to the project.
How BFS Approves or Denies a Plan Review
Once the project is reviewed by BFS, it’s either “disapproved” or “approved contingent.“
If a plan review is disapproved, items requiring corrections are listed on the plan review letter in bold text.
After these items are fixed, a new plan review is then submitted.
Additionally, an “approved contingent” plan review may list additional requirements or deficiencies in the plan review letter.
Furthermore, the construction manager should remain aware of any additional notes in this letter before inspection of the cannabis business.
Consult Before Plan Review
As of 2020, there’s an option where you can schedule a consultation with BFS to obtain plan review guidance before the inspection.
For a 1 hour in-person or virtual meeting with a plan reviewer, you must pay the consultation fee of $155.
Applicants can submit their consultation application online or by mail.
After submitting this request, it typically takes four (4) days to hear back from BFS.
What is a BFS Inspection?
As part of initial licensing, all marijuana facilities must complete an on-site inspection by BFS.
This inspection confirms that the facility is up-to-code to ensure fire and life safety.
Once the facility’s plan review is approved, an inspector is assigned to the facility.
Then, they’ll reach out to schedule your inspection.
Even though provisioning centers, secure transporters and safety compliance facilities aren’t required to complete plan review, they still must undergo BFS inspection.
For these types of facilities, the MRA Regulatory Officer assigned to your file will reach out to BFS field inspectors to schedule your inspection.
Initial inspections by BFS are only activated by the MRA.
The BFS inspection may take place at the same time as the MRA’s inspection.
Otherwise, BFS will reach out to schedule.
During the Inspection
It’s extremely important to prepare for the BFS inspection.
Beforehand, your business should’ve completed local inspections and obtained approval from the local government you operate in.
Required is the verification of approval from the following inspections:
- Building Certificate of Occupancy
- Electrical inspection approval
- Mechanical inspection approval
- Plumbing inspection approval
- Fire suppression system inspection and approval (if applicable)
- Fire alarm system inspection and approval (if applicable)
You need to provide the inspector proof of any additional requirement fulfillment noted in the plan review letter.
For example, an affidavit is required if there’s no approval label.
Additionally, Emergency Lighting Point by Point Calculations is required to confirm compliance.
Since a facility walk-through will take place, it’s crucial to have someone available to accurately answer any questions from the inspector.
After the inspection, the inspection report is uploaded to the project file.
Approval from BFS is one of the requirements for final licensure.
In addition to the initial inspection, field inspections by BFS are conducted twice per year.
BFS Inspection for Cannabis Business Preparation
Cannabis business fire inspection approvals are vital to your business’ longterm success.
If you are interested in pursuing a cannabis business license, contact our firm to set up a consultation with one of our proven and experienced cannabis attorneys.