The U.S. cannabis and hemp industries have shown a modern resurgence of agriculture and manufacturing.
From cultivation to processing, the industry relies on natural resources. It also relies on rigorous packaging/sustainability requirements.
And unfortunately, like any other large-scale agricultural business, it also creates waste and produces harmful gasses.
In our previous blog, we talked about the importance of being conscious in the organic cannabis sphere. We also believe that having the right collective mindset will shift us towards better practices.
Follow along as we discuss how sustainability can change the world.
The Need for Sustainability in the Cannabis & Hemp Industries
Data shaping and sustainability practices are currently made within associations like the National Cannabis Industry Association. This is also done in state departments such as Colorado’s CDPHE.
These leaders will continue to define and create new sustainability normals for the industry until a national regulatory structure that considers environmental sustainability is implemented.
Sustainability is a Necessary Step for Shaping the Cannabis & Hemp Industries
Furthermore, as cannabis continues to grow in the states, so will its carbon footprint.
Getting rid of the data gap that exists in this industry (in order to create a more accessible country-wide spectrum packed with data-driven decisions) is necessary for the future of this plant’s sustainability.
Cannabis is already a crop that needs to keep pace with global sustainability goals. As consumers reach for sustainable brands and while the industry’s energy use is on pace to double this year (since 2018), factors such as responsible practices in cultivation and packaging will show to be huge.
Major Sources of Waste & Negative Impacts in Cannabis/Hemp
Thirdly, the challenges facing the cannabis and hemp industries actually present some of the best opportunities to implement environmentally sustainable practices.
The NCIA states that companies must focus on sustainable practices. This will reduce their resource dependence and associated costs, positioning them to outperform competitors.
Here are the major sources of waste and negative impacts in the cannabis and hemp industries:
- Chemical Fertilizers & Pesticide Waste
- Fibrous Waste
- Packaging Materials
- Energy & Data Issues
- Water, Soil, & Air Quality Impacts
Sustainable Practices & Initiatives in Cannabis/Hemp
Finally, the cannabis and hemp industries’ leaders and innovators have proven themselves time and time again to be innovative forces in the face of an ever-changing legal cannabis landscape—all while enduring a global pandemic.
“The NCIA suggests that forward-thinking standard-setting bodies, self-regulatory organizations, and government regulators take note to create workable standards with supporting resources that will set the cannabis industry apart as a leader in environmental sustainability.”
As you can see from the above quote, the emerging strategies for cannabis and hemp industry sustainability need to be data-driven and ultimately dynamic.
The time to lay the foundation of forward-thinking ideas is now!
Thanks to these industry leaders who have already made these moves, many growers and manufacturers have been transitioning to more environmentally sustainable practices.
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