3 Ways to Improve Sustainability in the Marijuana Industry


As more and more people flock to the best marijuana dispensaries in Beverly Hills and the greater state of California, more scrutiny is on making the industry as sustainable as possible, particularly within the cultivation and manufacturing sectors. In fact, the sheer environmental impact of commercial marijuana production is but one aspect pot opponents use to shift public perception in their favor.

Making the Marijuana Industry More Sustainable

However, more marijuana businesses are being proactive about finding sustainable solutions that would make the industry more nature-friendly and less resource intensive, and more people want to find them when they type “Marijuana Dispensaries Near Me” into the Google search bar. Fortunately, it is possible to achieve sustainability, but it will require a uniform approach to change and a desire to make an effort.

Acquiring sustainability requires three things: The conservation of energy and water, and the proper management of waste. According to the Denver Post, reports released in 2016 by New Frontier Financials suggest that marijuana cultivation alone eats one percent of all electrical output in the United States every year, which would power roughly 1.7 million homes and cost $6 billion.

The high-intensity lamps used in indoor growing facilities are responsible for most of this energy consumption. These lamps alone generate an abundance of heat and they devour copious quantities of energy. The heat generated is the reason for adding HVAC systems to cool the plants and prevent heating, which are themselves notorious energy guzzlers.

On-site generators are an option for cultivators, like those used by some marijuana dispensaries in Salinas and in other regions. They are mostly gas- or coal-reliant, however, which means that despite their reduction in electricity consumption, they are infamous sources of excessive CO2 emissions. Sustainability is possible, though, and here are three ways the industry can achieve it:

1. Switch to LED Lighting

To lower the output of energy lighting uses, many growers are turning to LED lights. Although they cost more initially, they last notably longer, are extremely low maintenance, generate barely any heat, and are approximately 70 percent more efficient at power usage than lamps with the same lumen specifications.

They also have other benefits. LED technology reduces evaporation rates. Because they produce little heat, plants require less fertilizer, nutrients, and water.

2. Be Water Wise

Water is life’s most basic requirement. We all require it for survival. Marijuana, however, is a particularly thirsty plant, and in today’s drought and times of water scarcity, reducing its consumption is vital. A single pot plant needs between two and six gallons of water every day, which is double what most other crops require. Groups are now lobbying for water restrictions on marijuana plants.

Reverse osmosis and closed circuit desalination are two ways to purify up to 97 percent of wastewater for reuse. Be water wise whenever and wherever possible.

3. Make Use of Waste

All parts of the marijuana plant are useful, and with seed-to-sale tracking systems making it easy to track plants in the legal marketplace, there is no excuse really for waste. However, even the best marijuana dispensaries in Beverly Hills and surrounds cannot avoid it, particularly if they dispose of waste according to state law, in which case, it mostly ends up in a landfill anyway.

California’s legal industry creates tons of waste, and disposing of it is proving a challenge. Many composters will not accept pot waste because of federal prohibition of the substance, and as a result, marijuana dispensaries in Salinas and elsewhere have no choice but to toss it out with the trash. It is possible, though, to reintroduce cannabis waste back into the production cycle by composting it onsite.

Many cultivators are improving their composting practices to create their own soil with zero waste. Soon, typing ‘Marijuana Dispensaries near Me’ into Google will return sustainable businesses.

A Sustainable Future for the Marijuana Industry

Most marijuana dispensaries are trying to implement greener, more sustainable practices. With the war on climate change gaining traction, it is likely to become a legislated obligation for everyone involved in the industry in the future. It may take time yet for these practices to become standard at the commercial level, but the debate is already raging with sustainability a hot and controversial topic.

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