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