How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry?

by Brittiany Ralls

With an ever-growing population, sustainability is going to be a very present and needed subject to be concerned with in the cannabis industry. Recreational and medical cannabis alike offer little solutions at the current moment to combat the amount of waste created by the cannabis industry.

From the start of growing the plants to the process of selling it to the consumer/patient there is a large amount of waste associated with tracking, labeling, and packaging all products in cannabis. We have all seen it first hand, to the point that a lot of patients have asked for buy-back programs to be put into place because they feel weird about the amount of waste they create from purchasing cannabis through a dispensary.

Who can blame them? If this is a concern from the consumer standpoint, why then, have cannabis companies not put as much emphasis on sustainability? A few reasons really, but one major reason is to blame.

Laws. Good ol’ laws. Laws in place to protect children, and pets. Laws in place to protect the companies. Laws in place to track every single step a plant makes. Laws to make money off of cannabis that the cannabis industry doesn’t benefit from. It can be very frustrating, especially if you are a company whose focus is on sustainability.

With the amount of ways cannabis can be used, many get into cannabis with intentions of using it as a renewable resource. Then, find themselves alone when they see that not everyone cares about sustainability and that a lot of laws even work against making cannabis a sustainable industry.

So yeah, you may have some things you have to work around, but it’s not impossible. Which we will discuss in the next part of this series: Steps Towards Making your Cannabis Business Sustainable. Knowing that laws sometimes hinder aspects like sustainability allows us to become more innovative within our solutions for tracking and selling cannabis. Thus, setting standards within the community for what we can strive to achieve.

Since laws can be such a major factor, we know that we need to do our part in making sure laws are in place that support the collective community as a whole. Which includes efforts put towards sustainability for all businesses and consumers alike. By working together to come up with large scale solutions we would be able to change the current progression that cannabis has taken.

To answer the question: How sustainable is the cannabis industry? Not very. Not yet. But with more legalization happening we can expect that there will be movement in that direction in the future. Which is why we will discuss what steps you can take today to start preparing your business for opportunities to participate in sustainability programs that may come in the future to prompt companies into choosing sustainable options for their business.

Being prepared will set you ahead of that learning curve rather than behind. How sustainable do you want your cannabis business to be?

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