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Growing Pains: Fire Safety in the Budding Marijuana Industry

  • 08 May 2017
  • 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Monterey Hill Restaurant, 3700 Ramona Blvd., Monterey Park, CA 91754


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Growing Pains:  Fire Safety in the Budding Marijuana Industry

Date: May 8, 2017 


11:30AM: Networking 

12:00PM: Introductions and lunch

12:30PM:  Presentation 

1:30PM:  Conclusion of Meeting 


Raymond Bizal, PE -  Senior Regional Director- NFPA


States allowing recreational marijuana exhibit “growing pains” with this budding industry. NFPA assembled a task group to look at fire safety in the marijuana industry, culminating in new regulations currently under consideration by the Technical Committee. In addition to learning about these fire safety regulations, fire protection professionals in California can learn from the experiences in Washington and Colorado. This will address the anticipated evolution of fire safety in the industry as the economic powerhouse of recreational marijuana kicks in to “high” gear, including subjects regarding grow operations, carbon dioxide enrichment, and extraction operations.


Mr. Bizal is Senior Regional Director at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In this capacity, he oversees the U.S. Regional Directors, who provide outreach to NFPA stakeholders regarding the many activities undertaken by the association. This includes supporting the adoption and enforcement of NFPA codes and standards, and advocating for fire safety at the local and state legislative levels. He currently serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Southern California Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), he is an officer of the California Fire Prevention Institute (CFPI), and serves as a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Fire Code Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining NFPA in 2000, Ray spent 12 years with the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) and International Fire Code Institute (IFCI), where he served in several positions, including Uniform Fire Code Coordinator and Manager of Code Development. As manager of code development, he was responsible for the development of the Uniform Codes and related documents, as well as ICBO’s participation in the technical development of the International Code Council’s (ICC) International Codes and related documents. He also served as staff liaison for the drafting and development of the Wildland Urban Interface Code in the late 1990’s, which was produced through the California State Fire Marshal’s office from a FEMA grant.

With over 30 years in the fire protection profession, Ray also worked at the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company Fire Department as a fire protection specialist, and Factory Mutual Engineering Association as a loss prevention consultant. He is the 2006 recipient of the Western Fire Chiefs Association’s Robert W. Gain Award and the 2014 recipient of the California Fire Chiefs, Northern California Fire Prevention Officer’s Charles H. Gray Memorial Award. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, he is a registered Fire Protection Engineer in California.


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