Monday, October 5, 2020
Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Investors, employees, and customers are looking to companies up their game regarding environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) practices. This multi-stakeholder approach to capitalism is growing across industries. Hear from a panel of experts who are advocating for more cannabis companies to drive innovation in this space.
California is proposing to begin eliminating HPS from indoor cultivation environments as of Jan. 2023. But who exactly would the law apply to? How can cultivators take advantage? What can cannabis learn from other mature, energy-intensive industries?
As the cannabis industry sends its roots down, the standard in which the plant is grown differs from state to state and grow to grow. The need for transparency on whats in our cannabis and how it's grown is becoming a increased demand amongst consumers. This panel will discuss the environmental standards and regulations for cultivating cannabis.
Plastic waste and pollution have become a major problem for our world. With plastic recycling maxing out at only 9% and major companies closing their recycling plants across the country, we clearly need to do something different. This starts with eliminating single use plastic, which has been done already in several different business sectors. From cutlery and straws to take out boxes and plastic bag bans - we need to stop talking about recycling, and start implementing it. This panel will feature both brands and packaging companies as they discuss the current options and challenges with sustainable packaging.
Wednesday, October 7, 2020
It’s no secret...producing cannabis doesn’t come without a strain on the environment. As more states move towards legalization, the industry faces growing pressure to become more sustainable. With stringent regulations and operational codes looming over daily operations, are there sustainable solutions that cannabis companies can adopt? Get a behind-the-scenes peek at real-world hurdles and hear about progress underway to bring more sustainable business practices to the cannabis industry.
In 2014, changes in US laws opened the door for research and development of industrial hemp, and within a few years, many states had launched pilot programs. Those were followed by the 2018 Farm Bill which relabeled hemp an agricultural product and not a controlled substance. The new label was all industry leaders needed to start building a domestic supply chain for the natural fiber. The discussion will highlight the current status of hemp in the US, its future outlook, and a call for collaboration in building a domestic sustainable supply chain.
The cannabis industry is reported to generate 150M tons of waste annually so what can we do about it. How do we turn from a cost center into a tool to build your brand and create new revenue? The WasteTrakr team looked at a market that gets paid by the number of barrels and takes it to a landfill. We created a path by which recycling efforts can be documented and enables the business to show its impact on carbon footprint and sustainability and share the good news with your customers.
Thursday, October 8, 2020
TerraCycle is known for recycling materials others won’t, including Cannabis packaging, and imaging a future where the concept of waste doesn’t exist. Learn about the impact of COVID-19 on recycling and reuse and how business is scaling up.
While there is no universally accepted standard for regenerative agriculture, companies ranging from Cargill to Patagonia are touting commitments to regenerative production. Philosophically, regenerative agriculture improves soil health, rather than just maintaining it, so can be thought of as a bar above sustainable. Regenerative agricultural practices include cover cropping, intensifying and lengthening crop rotations, and reducing tillage. These practices generally function to build up soil by 1) increasing the amount of living plant cover and photosynthesis (atmospheric carbon capture) and 2) decreasing soil disturbance which increases soil carbon loss via microbial respiration. These practices can help improve the carbon balance of row crop agriculture, relative to the prevailing systems where one-or two-crop grain systems dominate and cover crop adoption, while increasing, is still quite limited (less than 5% of cropland acres nationally). Building soil health isn't just about carbon though, ancillary benefits include improving crop resilience to drought, extreme rainfall, and mitigating pest pressure, in some cases. Together this approach to growing holds much promise for cannabis and other crop producers interested in nurturing a more resilient production system for plants, people, and the planet.
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.
Learn about the various techniques for applying, storing, treating, recirculating and discharging water in today's dynamic market. How do climate, building type, dehumidification strategies, substrates and other factors impact how much a cultivation environment consumes? And how can we move toward best practices together?
The marijuana industry has air quality impacts beyond just nuisance odors. Recent studies have found that cannabis plants emit gas phase terpenes. Terpenes are a type of Volatile Organic Compound (VOC). The industry also uses solvents for extracting concentrates that result in VOC emissions. These types of VOCs chemically react with nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions in the presence of sunlight to form ground level ozone. Ozone is an air pollutant that is harmful to human health and negatively impacts the environment. With the rapid growth of the marijuana industry, due to the legalization of cultivation and manufacturing, there is now an unknown industrial scale area source of VOCs that can impact ozone formation. This is especially important in VOC-limited areas, such as urban areas with high concentrations of nitrogen oxides, where increases in VOCs can have a significant impact on ozone production. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has conducted research to quantify the unknown rate of VOC emissions from industrial scale cannabis cultivation and model the resulting impacts on local ozone formation in Colorado.
Separately, the marijuana industry routinely releases carbon dioxide, purchased as a byproduct of power generation, into the indoor cultivation environment to stimulate accelerated plant growth. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. CDPHE participated in an innovative pilot project to capture waste carbon dioxide emissions from local breweries with new equipment, purify it, and recycle it during the cannabis cultivation process.
Throughout the fermentation process breweries emit carbon dioxide at a much higher quantity than is used to carbonate beer and pressurize lines throughout the facility. Typical practice is for breweries to vent all carbon dioxide from the fermentation process and purchase carbon dioxide from an outside supplier. This small scale carbon capture demonstration pilot between breweries and a cannabis cultivation was to demonstrate the ability to capture the carbon dioxide waste stream and reuse it as an input to the marijuana growing process, therefore reducing carbon dioxide emissions in Colorado.
Friday, October 9, 2020
Design Charrettes have been a common practice among Architects and Planners for decades. Over that time, design professionals have used the practice that can be described as “formalized brainstorming” to incorporate early design ideas from all stakeholders. This traditional process establishes an early-stage creative environment to identify and incorporate principles for successful building design and operation. Only in the last 20 years has this process been expanded to include multi-disciplinary principles related to a project’s sustainability. This presentation presents an argument that supports the idea of whole building design charettes, emphasizing the benefits of this process in the context of sustainability and the “triple bottom line,” as it applies to the cannabis industry.
The how and why of the cannabis industry’s move to get back to its roots by growing from seed. We will cover breeding techniques that are currently being used to improve genetics grown from seed, how planting and growing from seed is helping farmers lower their carbon footprint, and discuss why the right type of seed can save a small farm while helping our big planet.