The Cannabis Market Demands Sustainable Products, So What’s Your Next Move?

Focusing on sustainability helps your brand and our planet.

The cannabis industry is constantly growing, and cannabis companies introduce exciting new products every day. While that’s great news for consumers, your brand may struggle to differentiate itself from the competition.

One way to stand out? Go green! Eco-friendly cannabis products are in high demand, and not many companies have reduced their environmental impact by creating sustainability practices.

Sustainable cannabis products will help you build a brand that can capture a critically underserved segment of the cannabis market: Gen Z consumers with an eye on the future.

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The Cannabis Market and Sustainable Products

Gen Z consumers have officially outpaced baby boomers on the legal cannabis market, and with more of Gen Z reaching the age for legal consumption, cannabis companies need to address this growing demographic’s concerns.

Gen Z consumers want to reduce their carbon footprint more than any previous generation, and their purchasing decisions reflect this priority. To attract these environmentally conscious consumers, you’ll need to create sustainable products that reduce your brand’s impact on the environment. That’s the best way to build strong connections with loyal consumers who are willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly products.

Is the Cannabis Industry Sustainable?

Worried about the impact your cultivation facilities are having on the environment? Let’s look at some of the potential ecological costs of growing cannabis plants.

Before we talk more about creating eco-friendly products, let’s take a closer look at how cannabis cultivation, cannabis packaging, and the industry supply chain impact the environment and how cannabis companies can be more sustainable.

According to one report from the National Cannabis Industry Association, “Legalization of cannabis is an unprecedented opportunity for environmentally sustainable practices to be adopted as the national industry standard from the outset, positioning the cannabis industry to emerge as a leader in environmental sustainability.” By adopting these practices early, your brand can set the stage for more eco-friendly cannabis grows.

Sources of Cannabis Waste

Worried about the impact your cultivation facilities are having on the environment? Let’s look at some of the potential ecological costs of growing cannabis plants.

Cultivation Facilities and Outdoor Grows

Cannabis cultivation facilities produce waste and wastewater runoff:

  • Fertilizers need to be produced, causing an environmental impact.
  • Pesticides build up and wash off plants, reducing soil quality.
  • Plant waste from scraps, trim, and roots requires disposal.
Lighting in a cannabis cultivation facility

Energy

Growing indoor plants on a schedule of artificial light requires a lot of energy. Here are some ways energy can have an environmental impact:

  • Lighting needs generated energy to operate functionally.
  • The energy sourced to run grow operations may be sourced from environmentally unfriendly sources, such as coal-fired power plants.

Water Use

Keeping soil hydrated so plants can thrive requires a great deal of water, as much as 25-30% of the total plant volume over the plant’s life cycle.

Cannabis Product Packaging

The most visible environmental impact of the cannabis industry comes from regulatory requirements like childproofing, which can make it difficult to create recyclable packaging. Here are the biggest contributors to the industry’s plastic waste problem:

  • Single-use plastic packaging
  • Petroleum-based plastics
  • Batteries

How Much Plastic Waste Does the Cannabis Industry Produce?

Calculating the industry’s waste production isn’t easy, but when cannabis was first legalized in Canada, the CBC published a report that estimated as much as 70 grams of plastic waste was generated for every gram of legally sold cannabis.

Several colors and sizes of plastic packaging for cannabis

How Can Cannabis Brands Become Sustainable?

It’s clear the cannabis industry needs to make changes to reach the ambitious goals set by the NCIA, but moving toward a more sustainable cannabis future may be easier than you think. 

Let’s look at some ways to make your brand more sustainable and reach eco-conscious customers.

Hemp Rolling Papers, Cones, and Wraps

When it comes to sustainability, the materials you choose to work with have the greatest impact. Working with Botani can help you outmaneuver the competition and create greener and more satisfying products.

From rolling papers to blunt wraps and beyond, all of our hemp-based products are biodegradable and TCF—totally chlorine free. And the best part? The hemp we use is a byproduct of cultivation facilities, so by working with Botani you’re actively working to remove botanical products from the global waste stream.

And it isn’t just the material. The choices we make in our manufacturing processes pay off with exceptional low-impact products. No refrigeration is necessary for our products. And our blunt wraps are designed to be transported without the use of unsustainable foil packaging, so they won’t dry out or crack like conventionally constructed blunt wraps would.

Making the switch to an eco-friendly supplier is the best way to keep your brand green, and Botani is the best supplier to get you there.

4 Colors of Botani Rolling Papers

Green Packaging

Hemp isn’t just helpful when it comes to the blunts and pre-rolls you produce; it can also be the key to greener packaging.

Hemp-derived plastics are a more sustainable alternative to conventional packing materials. Crafted from the biodegradable cellulose of hemp plants, this bioplastic can be recycled indefinitely. And unlike petroleum-based plastics, hemp plastics will break down in composting facilities.

Regenerative Farming

This term describes farming practices that reverse climate change by restoring degraded soil biodiversity, rebuilding soil organic matter, and improving the water cycle, which contribute to carbon drawdown.

Grounding your flower production in regenerative farming techniques will help you produce higher quality, sustainable products consumers will pay more for.

Cultivation Facility Recycling Programs

Partnering with a cultivation facility that has a recycling program will ensure you’re producing an eco-friendly product.

Your facility should be able to recycle all nonorganic materials and have a plan in place for reducing the impact of cannabis cultivation on the environment as much as possible. Working with Botani is an excellent way to ensure these goals are met.

Cannabis leaf recycle symbol

Dispensary Packaging Recycling Program

Create a packaging recycling program with dispensaries so your customers know they have a place to return excess packaging.

Instead of heading to the landfill, they’ll know that their baggie or jar will be repurposed to house another great cannabis product. This can create a more positive consumption experience.

With a package recycling program in place, waste-conscious dispensary consumers will feel more excited about your brand.

Dispensary Exit Bags

An even more powerful tool than recycling is reducing. Cutting down the total amount of waste your brand creates is key.

Eliminating plastic dispensary exit bags and replacing them with recyclable paper bags isn’t just environmentally friendly; it’s exactly the kind of sustainability practice that Gen Z customers are looking for.

Hand holding eco friendly dispensary exit bag

Are you ready to offer consumers a more sustainable product? Contact Botani today.