This article was originally published on Cannabis & Tech Today and appears here with permission.
A recent nationwide survey conducted by Canivate Growing Systems laid bare the new expectations of cannabis consumers: 64% of consumers are willing to pay more for cannabis that is grown organically with eco-friendly objectives.
Climate change was once a future concern that many industries were kicking down the road. But now, it’s an immediate crisis.
As a result, today’s consumer wants to know that the companies they buy from care about the future of the planet. Today’s consumer wants to hear about the commitment, the strategies, and the metrics that will drive change.
Consumers want companies that are walking the walk to make a difference.
But finding cannabis growers who are truly driven by those eco-friendly objectives — and not simply giving them lip service — is a formidable task.
Sustainable Cannabis Practices Are Still Rare
First, cannabis production overall is not as green and natural as many believe it to be. For example, a recent study set out to answer this question: “Which of the following — a joint, a beer, or a cup of coffee — is more damaging with regard to climate change?”
If the cannabis is grown indoors, the answer is the joint.
That’s what researchers at Colorado State University concluded when they conducted a study of cannabis greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, the study found that indoor cultivation accounts for 1.7% of Colorado’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Now, 1.7% might not seem significant, but coal mining produces the same percentage of the state’s gas emissions.
Commercial Cannabis Is Often Grown Indoors
Even in climates where outdoor growing is feasible, early policies that originally sought to facilitate regulation and guard against theft made indoor growing the only viable option.
But even when some of those policies have been lifted, cannabis growers have opted to remain indoors. Of course, cost is a factor, but this is happening for a variety of other …