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When you think of medical cannabis, the environmental impact is usually not at the top of the list. It seems like a pretty environmentally friendly plant, but when you take into consideration the scale at which the industry packages products for patients, it has huge environmental impacts.
Due to strict regulations controlling how cannabis is packaged, distributed, and sold, the industry produces a large amount of waste. According to GAIACA Waste Revitalization, a cannabis waste company, the industry generates approximately 150 million tons of cannabis waste each year across the nation. As the industry continues to grow, the amount of waste being produced also increases.
As our flower launch approaches, WholesomeCo, a dispensary in Utah has implemented plans to reduce its environmental footprint. By partnering with multiple sustainability-focused companies, Utahns will be able to purchase cannabis in packaging that holds up to their environmental values.
Flower Jars for the Planet
The main environmental impact facing the cannabis industry is the consumption of plastic. WholsomeCo is doing their best to combat wasteful materials by implementing sustainable jars into our sales practices.
Glass jars provided by Tree Hugger Containers will be utilized at WholesomeCo to sell our own cultivation of cannabis flower. Tree Hugger stands strong behind their idea that packaging does not need to be wasteful. We support their mission in making the cannabis industry more eco-friendly by eliminating single-use plastics while also creating products that do not lack in quality or design.
Similar to the cannabis industry's seed-to-sale tracking system, Tree Hugger Containers are made with the entire life cycle of packaging taken into consideration. Materials used, manufacturing processes, transportation, and the afterlife of the product are all aspects carefully considered with the goal of reducing carbon emissions. WholesomeCo is excited to partner with this company for our first ever sustainable flower launch.
Sustainable Lids to Top it all off
WholesomeCo has taken a leap within the cannabis industry by committing to 100% ocean-bound plastic lids for our flower jars. Sana Packaging, a company dedicated to keeping our oceans clean, has created the industry's first 100% ocean-bound and reclaimed ocean plastic packaging. In partnership with Sana, WholesomeCo will keep an estimated 1,500 pounds of plastic from our planet’s most fragile ecosystems.
Cultivation Methods Matter
Aside from packaging, WholesomeCo has taken additional steps to show efforts towards a more sustainable future. After a few setbacks, our pharmacy is proud to finally offer our own cultivation of cannabis flower with the largest quantity we’ve brought to the Utah market yet. Cannabis cultivation can be very energy-consuming, leading to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. In an effort to offset our carbon footprint, flower at WholesomeCo is grown in a greenhouse using natural light and warmth from the sun. According to an article published in Smithsonian Magazine, this method of cultivation saves two tons of carbon per pound of flower produced.
Our sustainable flower launch marks the first of many exciting product launches to come over the next year, enabled by our ability to bring our cultivation to scale. WholesomeCo is excited to share our products with Utah patients in a sustainable way.
- Khairzada, Z. (2020, June 10). Cannabis Industry Generates 150M Tons of Waste Annually. Spectrum News 1. Retrieved from https://spectrumnews1.com
- 2. Fox, A. (2021). Growing an Ounce of Pot Indoors Can Emit as Much Carbon as Burning a Full Tank of Gas. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved from www.smithsonianmag.com.