Not So Green: Combatting The Marijuana Industry's Carbon Footprint

This article was originally published on Hoban Law Group, and appears here with permission.

This article is authored by HLG’s Managing Attorney Garrett Graff, with contributions from Haley Keefer, Law Clerk, and Jesse Cherkoss, legal extern

The marijuana industry is not as green as many purport the industry to be. Although the marijuana industry generates thousands of jobs and millions in taxable revenue each year, the industry has not prioritized the unique sustainability challenges that it faces. The growing marijuana industry is subject to stringent packaging, which often requires marijuana and marijuana products to be packaged in plastic, child-proof containers. Waste disposal requirements also impose additional regulatory requirements when disposing of marijuana, including mixing disposed marijuana with other substances to make the waste unrecognizable. Resultantly, the complete marijuana supply chain is a source of pollution as it imposes unnecessary disposal requirements, emits detrimental gases, and often relies on unrecyclable materials.

Marijuana Industries Ecological Impact

Notably, our data concerning the industry’s ecological impact is limited since the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) does not monitor marijuana because it is a controlled substance. Without federal oversight, the industry and state regulators are left at the forefront to develop a sustainable industry. In the meantime, consumers are faced with few options to reduce their carbon footprint when purchasing marijuana and marijuana products and have …

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