In the March/April 2019 edition of ABA's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Tyler Welti published "Cannabis Environmental Review And Litigation." Below is an excerpt.
Regulating and permitting cannabis, a newly legalized but long-established and widespread industry, has raised environmental review obligations of unprecedented scale under "state National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)" laws like the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This article looks at emerging environmental legal risks facing both cannabis businesses seeking permits and state and local governments seeking to permit or ban commercial cannabis. This article focuses on California, but the issues occurring there are bound to occur in other states where cannabis cultivation is, or may become, legal.