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Pat Beggan

Washington state has come under fire recently for allowing garbage from its legal cannabis system to find its way into local sewers and waterways; some in the industry, however, are working to find solutions to cannabis packaging pollution.

The Cannabis Alliance, a Washington nonprofit cannabis trade organization, has convened a committee to investigate options for green cannabis packaging. The committee has recommended implementing a packaging recycling program but says cost and regulatory issues still exist at this time. For the long-term, they are suggesting single-use plastic containers be eliminated completely from the I-502 system.

“We are looking at alternative compostable packaging and also thinking of ways to incentivize producer/processors once they are ready to make the switch to sustainable containers.” — Julia Lee, Executive Assistant for The Cannabis Alliance, in an interview with Ganjapreneur

“The problem is not that the material is unavailable. The problem is that vendors who choose to introduce green packaging to the market get pushed out because of their margins,” Lee said. “Consumers won’t pay an extra $2-3 for a preroll that’s in a compostable or recyclable doob tube. So, consumer education is a big part of what we are doing.”

Washington state adult-use cannabis rules require cultivators and manufacturers to prepackage every product shipped to a retailer, meaning that there is a glut of individually packaged single grams and pre-rolls which, in many cases, leads to an unnecessary amount of plastic.

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