You must have often come across cannabis enthusiasts and people talking about cannabinoids, cannabis strains, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum CBD, terpenes, edibles, etc. However, have you ever seen someone talking about how to handle, regulate and dump marijuana (THC) waste?
In the weed industry, the intricacy that no one wants to tell you about is waste-management. However, Huffs n Puffs is not one of those ‘no ones’ and will tell you everything that you ought to in terms of managing marijuana waste.
Recall that cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug under the US federal Controlled Substances Act; so, owing to this classification, cannabis waste is regulated quite similarly to ‘hazardous waste’.
In most states, marijuana waste is referred to as a “special regulated waste”, which implies that there is a fixed protocol to store, handle, transport and process it.
Given below is the protocol followed by most of the legal states for cannabis waste regulation across the three supply chain levels:
The rules state that plant-touching businesses must make all non-usable cannabis plant waste “unusable and unrecognizable” before disposing. This is typically done by grinding the plant waste and mixing it with organic matter in equal ratio.
The mixture can then be transported to a licensed composter; growers, too, can compost the waste on-site, provided they have the setup, time and resources to do so. Though most states permit growers to landfill unusable and unrecognizable plant waste, composting is a better alternative.
Extracting cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc.) from a cannabis bud requires a lot of chemicals and water. Since THC is considered a hazardous waste, none of the things that come in its contact can simply be washed down the drain – not even the water used to clean presses and other equipment.
So producers and extractors collect all the chemicals (including used water) and hand them over to licensed hazardous waste-management companies.
3) Retail stores
Like the above two members of the supply chain, retail stores can’t simply throw away expired products, let alone products, the law prohibits them from throwing away even the packaging. Since cannabis products too have a shelf life, involving a licensed waste company is the only way out.