When speaking with both consumers and business owners alike, many are surprised to know that ‘cannabis waste’ is a thing. Not only is it a ‘thing’, but a very ‘big thing’, that many have not considered when looking at starting a cannabis business.

No one really thinks about the true WASTE scale, the cannabis industry is about to contribute to! Sadly, we see it day in and day out, servicing current, and meeting with new clients. A goal for CWR SoCal, Inc., is to raise awareness on the various streams of waste solutions available.

It’s no longer about simply keeping concentrates, flower, and edibles out of trash bins, but the exit packaging, light bulbs from grows, and the cartridges, along with your the vape pen batteries. Not only is it about raising awareness about the solutions available, but the legalities to doing so, that many business owners are not aware of.

Leaves, Flowers and Stems: Regulated Waste

Fresh cannabis biomass waste is viewed as regulated material, meaning it requires special handling to keep it from being diverted outside the operation. This includes keeping an audit trail of the regulated material from the moment it is removed from the flower room until it’s disposed of. That tracking is a common requirement in legalized states, and while it places a heavy cost on operators to maintain the records, it is a condition of obtaining a license. So, for now, this is a waste cost no one can escape.

Regulated cannabis biomass waste may be disposed of by composting or rendering it inconsumable before disposal in a public landfill. Rendering material unusable is a simple process. Grinding biomass and mixing with media, trash, food waste or other materials turns the regulated material into commercial trash than can go straight into a dumpster. But until then, it is regulated waste and must be securely stored. It may be waste, but it’s special waste, and that means it costs more to dispose of.

Many industry businesses dispose of large amounts of waste (500lbs +) on a daily basis. Per the CalRecycle 75% Diversion Plan, those businesses must dispose of their waste through an organics recycling program. This waste must NOT go to a landfill. Many business owners and consumers we speak with have no clue this law exists. This type of information is what CWR SoCal, Inc. hopes to continue sharing with you, in an effort to keep you informed and compliant!


Should You Rethink Your Waste Management Practices?
November 15, 2018
Kerrie & Kurt Badertscher