Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility are familiar terms within mainstream business, creative marketing, investments and consumer behavior. With the emergence of the cannabis industry, these concepts are quickly integrating into our industry from the start. This panel will review some of the challenges that companies encounter when trying to create truly sustainable cannabis businesses.
What are the challenges to Sustainable Business in Cannabis?
Edward Dow has a diverse professional background and extensive experience within the engineering and design space. After his years with Advanced Engineering Labs, and Deep Submergence Laboratory, Edward established Bay State Metal Finishing (BSM) in 2012, which specialized in engineered metal finishes used within multiple high-tech industries including oceanography, aeronautics, and automated machinery. While at the helm of BSM, Dow spearheaded sales and corporate management strategies and initiatives. Edward started to pivot into the emerging cannabis industry in 2016 where he helped conceptualize Solar Therapeutics (Solar).
As CEO, Dow now steers Solar, a state-of-the-art 67,000 square foot, triple tier, marijuana cultivation facility with on-site and off-site retail storefronts that supply both medical and recreational marijuana products. Solar is designed around all best-practice engineering principles and good manufacturing practices (GMP). Particularly unique to Solar is the heavy focus on sustainable engineering. This includes designing for LED's throughout the entire facility, thereby lowering all HVAC loads, recapturing all wastewater, as well as owning and operating its own microgrid assets (solar arrays, battery storage, and natural gas cogeneration units). Solar’s ability to produce it's own clean energy is unique to the cannabis industry, and is world-class on an industrial scale.
Michael Steinmetz is the founder and CEO of Flow Kana, California’s largest distributor of sun-grown organic cannabis from small craft farmers. The company aims to transform cannabis into the world’s first fully sustainable agricultural product, advancing a farming ecosystem rooted in transparency, integrity, and shared equity. Originally from Caracas, Steinmetz built and sold a Venezuelan national food marketing and distribution company, and worked as an investment analyst at Merrill Lynch and a data analyst at NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory.
Mr. Johnson is a Senior Vice President at Gannett Fleming, Inc. and directs Private Sector Services for the company.
Mr. Johnson is responsible for the implementation and supervision of a wide range of environmental services for Fortune 100 companies. Responsible for the creation of our firm's Corporate Sustainability Program and served as the Corporate Sustainability officer from 2009 through the spring of 2016. Directs our firm's industrial environmental Private Market Leadership Team, which promotes awareness of specific industry processes and monitors teams that serve specific industrial manufacturing sectors. Serves as a member of the board of directors for Gannett Fleming Sustainable Ventures Corporation, a subsidiary of Gannett Fleming Inc.; which manages unique technology projects. Serves as the Vice Chairman of the board of directors for the Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI). Oversees projects that support our clients' drive towards sustainability, risk management, and resource management goals, including new technology applications for natural resource conservation. Manages multimedia permitting projects and site investigation and remediation programs and serves as the Project Principal for wastewater assessments and wastewater design-build projects for numerous clients in the agricultural, food and beverage, pulp and paper, utility, chemical, mining, pharmaceutical, and general manufacturing industries. Oversees air permit applicability reviews and air permit application projects in numerous states throughout the United States. Experienced in all aspects of environmental and sustainability assessments, risk assessments, and EPC delivery of infrastructure projects. Responsibilities include account service management and project oversight. Analyzes strategic risks and costs to support site acquisitions and divestitures and supervises projects involving stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs), spill prevention containment and countermeasure (SPCC) plans, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting, Clean Air Act (CAA) permitting, compliance auditing, and environmental management system (EMS) development and implementation in accordance with ISO 14001 standards. Responsible for corporate business development focused on client development, client service, and project principal engagement to grow private sector services and delivery across all business lines at Gannett Fleming.