Medical and recreational cannabis is projected to be a $13 billion dollar industry in the US in 2019, which has investors and eager entrepreneurs alike clambering to get in on the market. Seemingly overnight, cannabis in the US has gone from an underground enterprise to a booming industry - and everyone wants a piece of it.
As is the case in any industry, there will always be intricacies of operation that can make or break a business. In the cannabis industry, the intricacy that no one tells you about is managing the waste.
Example: California has three separate cannabis agencies: Bureau of Cannabis Control, CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing and the Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch. These agencies have three separate sets of regulations for cannabis waste handling. With California being among the first states to legalize cannabis, other states may adopt their practices for licensing, regulation and waste management. Regulations vary today depending on the state and are in a constant flux of change.
The main rule with cannabis waste is: you can’t just throw it away. The general rule of thumb is anything that has THC or comes into contact with THC has to be ground up and mixed with an aggregate material until it is “unusable and unrecognizable”. This is to prevent any material with THC from being accessed by unauthorized people (think minors, pets...), or from having THC end up in the soil or a water source. For this reason, cannabis waste has to be stored securely and only accessed by authorized personnel.
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