by Brittiany Ralls
In the last piece “How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry?”, we chatted about how cannabis
sustainability is hindered in part to laws that restrict the ability of businesses to be able to be more sustainable. Huge bummer, I know. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to participate in programs or come up with ways to be more helpful in the aspect of sustainability. What are some of the steps your business can take to make your cannabis business more sustainable and eco-friendly? There are quite a fews ways, depending on the kind of cannabis business you have. We will start with simple solutions that most cannabis businesses can focus on at the moment to help get you going in the direction of sustainability. These are small things that could be implemented within your cannabis business quickly and easily thus getting you and your employees in the mindset of sustainability.
There are few ways to get started with this and I suggest starting with paper. There are quite a few ways to eliminate the use of paper as much within your cannabis business. Now I know that some cannabis businesses can’t do this completely, especially with programs like METRC that require you to print manifests to carry when transporting cannabis. But, you can eliminate some paper waste by using programs for your employees to clock in and out, dispensaries can use online loyalty systems for their patients instead of paper cards for the patients to keep track of, processors and cultivators can create documents for their testing accessible through QR Codes instead of printing testing papers to go along with the sales they make.
Plastic packaging is a huge contributor to the amount of waste generated by the cannabis industry. Currently using plastics that are more eco-friendly will also mean a higher price tag. To keep from having to pass that cost along to the patient most companies opted for what is affordable vs. sustainable. But, with the ability to influence the laws created for this industry we can also create plastic buy back programs for recycling. Implementing recycling procedures for employees will help the entire company in its efforts to be more sustainable in the long run. If your business is a processing company you can use energy efficient equipment to help cut energy costs, as well as, implement systems that help employees reduce waste during production by using automated systems or make sure that your SOP’s are made with sustainability in mind.
These are some quick and easy ideas that can help get you started to becoming a sustainable cannabis business. Putting you ahead of the curve and allowing you to be prepared for the future of what cannabis will be. Cannabis will have the ability to help usher in a new mindset of creating a world that is sustainable and eco-friendly, so long as those within the industry put an emphasis on these factors and ensure that they matter. Which they do and will even more in the future.