Cannabis Waste Made Easy
In the United States, medical and recreational cannabis is projected to be a $13 billion industry for 2019. This booming market, which has been nicknamed the “Green Rush,” has ambitious entrepreneurs and savvy investors flocking to find their place.
In all the excitement, there’s a gaping hole that is being overlooked, not only by the wide-eyed speculators, but by regulators as well. This growing bubble opens the door to large environmental impacts and has the potential to create a huge black market. The problem we are referring to is cannabis waste. A typical mid-sized manufacturer will generate 250 to 500 pounds of waste per day.
As a general rule of thumb, anything that has been used in the growth or packaging of cannabis has special regulations for its disposal. This includes the leftover plant, trimmings, soil, sponges, expired edibles, cannabis that failed testing and used fertilizers. One of the top five violations for cultivators in 2018 was cannabis waste management, where cultivation facilities did not properly document all waste and removal. What is done with all of this refuse?
The cheapest and easiest option right now is to dump it in landfills, but this is certainly the worst for our environment. Rather than being reused, it decomposes over time and gives off greenhouse gases. Many in the cannabis industry don’t have the time or the know-how to responsibly comply with regulations so they are throwing it out any way they can. With such a rapid growth, the governing bodies seem to be overwhelmed with managing the retail side and don’t have the resources they need to monitor the backend. Coupling these two issues together has created many problems, all of which have long lasting consequences.
These problems are what brought Easy Waste Management to life. They have branded themselves as a “Waste Compliance Director” and provide a comprehensive waste solution to all those in the cannabis sector. They initially provide consultation services by administering a site inspection. Then, a custom Waste Management Plan is put together that is fully compliant with the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), CalCannabis and the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch (MCSB). A manifest is provided at pick up and a second to certify destruction that is used for Track and Trace reporting. Easy Waste’s CEO, Gary Altunyan, has said, “Rather than working around the regulators, we are working with them to help draft proper and sustainable legislation that ensures waste is not being wasted.
What really sets us apart is that we provide ongoing staff training for our clients. In our experience, the biggest risk area is the employee so we focus on their development and guarantee they have the necessary tools.” In order to not waste the waste, the biomass is being composted so that it can be reintroduced to the grow cycle. Glassware and packaging is being recycled to minimize the carbon footprint generated by the various streams. Hazardous and toxic substances are being properly treated to avoid any health impact to the cities. Easy Waste Management takes care of the hard part so clients have the comfort of knowing they’re covered.