Guest Blog Post by: Andrew Myers, CEO of ProGrowTech
Cannabis consumers are increasingly concerned about how their cannabis is grown. While cannabis companies can’t label their products “organic” (as that term is controlled by the federal government), many have turned to the phrase “clean cannabis.”
Clean cannabis is sustainably produced in ethical work environments. Depending on the certification your company decides to pursue, it might also include community engagement and review of in-house materials used to ensure your business meets these stringent standards. Your company might embrace clean cannabis for all the right reasons: improved efficiency, better working conditions and a healthier end-product (for consumers and for the earth), but it also requires a serious commitment to meet your business’ goals and achieve certification.
These missteps can derail your clean cannabis goals – and here’s how to get back on track.
Forgoing Upgraded Technologies
While the cannabis industry hasn’t always had the cleanest track record, there are plenty of ways to make your modern operation more sustainable. One of the top ways to do so is investing in newer technologies, such as LED lights, HVACs and automated systems that cut down on waste and labor.
Continuing to rely on outdated technologies easily results in extra work and can suck up tons of additional resources. Investing in something like advanced LEDs means less electricity and ambient heat, as well as healthier crops. Further, automating your systems integrates business processes and can reduce human error and reduce excessive energy or water usage.
Not Making Important Infrastructure Improvements
For today’s cannabis businesses, infrastructure is the basis for long-term success. Letting your facility infrastructure fall behind can mean more work, stress and wasted energy. It can increase the risk of contamination from the outside world and irreversibly affect your carefully created indoor environment.
Your indoor cannabis operation should have the proper safeguards in place to prevent contamination, light leaks and be properly insulated to maintain an optimal growing temperature. Further, many growers may investigate innovative vertical racking techniques to expand their grow, without having to purchase additional square footage.
Letting Packaging Pile Up
While it is important (and legally required) to provide consumers with child-proofed packaging and clear labeling, there’s a concerning amount of plastic wasted in the cannabis industry. While not much can be done from a regulatory standpoint, businesses might investigate recycling initiatives, or offer consumers a small discount for bringing in plastic containers that may be reused. Internally, businesses can examine their plastic waste created at the cultivation or processing stage.
Lacking Communication with Your Team and Customers
Embracing a new vision, or revitalizing a mission, requires communication with your team. A well-trained and educated workforce truly creates a business that operates at its highest potential. Collaborating with an informed, invigorated team can make your business’s vision more easily attainable. Plus, never underestimate the power of a group brainstorm session.
Moreover, connect with your customers to discuss your clean cannabis goals. Many would argue that those taking a lead in the cannabis industry have a responsibility to share their knowledge with the public. With the right communication, your customers will likely feel more connected to your mission and appreciate the insight.
Allowing Networking to Fall by the Way-Side
There are some amazing organizations in the cannabis industry pushing for better practices, better environmental regulations and safer products. Some organizations host events (such as the Cannabis Certification Council’s Sustainability Symposium) for cannabis business leaders to learn, connect and be inspired. Additionally, getting in touch with industry experts can help guide business decision-making and help you plan long-term clean cannabis initiatives.
There are a ton of resources to explore when it comes to improving business efficiency, becoming more sustainable, supporting employee wellbeing and giving back to your community. Committing to the tenets of clean cannabis is really about investing in your business and the industry’s future.
Learn more about ProGrowTech here.