NCIA Tackles Environmental Sustainability in New Report


The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) has released an in-depth report that explores environmental challenges facing marijuana businesses and offers ways to improve sustainability.

Published Tuesday, the 58-page report offers detailed best practices and policy considerations for cannabis producers.

Why it matters: 15 states have passed laws allowing for the production and sale of adult-use cannabis, while 36 states permit the cultivation and consumption of medical cannabis. Companies operating within the commercial cannabis sector have an enormous responsibility to develop forward-thinking business practices that are environmentally sustainable and aimed at reducing their overall carbon footprints.

Details: The NCIA’s report dives deep into strategies for proper land use, water conservation, efficient energy use, air quality controls and waste reduction. It was prepared by “a group of environmental policy and cannabis experts with a wide range of expertise.”

Key considerations from the report:

  • Optimize resource usage, which will reduce environmental impacts and increase profit margins;
  • Implement data tracking and environmental metrics analysis;
  • Contact environmental permitting agencies early in the planning process;
  • Build and retain soil organic matter;
  • Reduce water and energy usage;
  • Install carbon filtration systems;
  • Divert marijuana plant waste from landfills;
  • Utilize reusable packaging

Notable Quote: “This fast-growing and highly regulated industry (at the state level) is poised to lead on evolving business challenges, including the adoption of environmentally sound business practices that demonstrate to the broader agriculture sector that comprehensive environmental sustainability is achievable," the report reads.

Read more: The full report from the NCIA can be downloaded here.

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