Cannabis company pushes for regulation of cannabis waste

A marijuana company, Vessel, is urging lawmakers in New York to consider a bill that would regulate cannabis waste.

James Choe, the CEO, says there must be sustainable solutions looking at things like electronic pens, cartridges and even the packaging of different cannabis products.

“I think there was this exchange of cigarette butts for batteries when you really think about it,” Choe explained. “They’re just as ugly in a lot of ways. And a lot of that legacy ended up in cannabis as people started to think about designing vape products and everything in between.

The company is proposing a model bill that would establish a recycling process for current and future cannabis products.

For example, since vape pens are relatively new, the wording of this bill would include other smoking devices yet to be invented.

The bill would also allow recycling of fibrous waste, which they said would encourage bioplastic packaging.

“Packaging is obviously a bigger concern for cannabis products in general,” Choe said. “There’s a kind of old habit of creating consumer experiences, unwrapping, and really telling a story. We know that this space is really kind of where everyone, especially in cannabis, relies so much on the packaging that it turns into another mess.

The ship is also proposing to create a new “Cannabis waste operator license”, which will allow certain operators to process, recycle and reuse cannabis waste.

Currently, since cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, government-run waste management companies in other states where marijuana is legal may be reluctant to deal with the issues. cannabis waste.

“All we’re pushing is the angle that there is potentially this emergence of a small business opportunity where more privatized groups are allowed to run it because they are not subject to certain regulations or relationships, ”Choe said. “It’s a push to create this more circular economy again. “

New York’s Cannabis Control Board, which is charged with rolling out the state’s new recreational marijuana industry, is conceptualizing new rules and regulations for what will be one of the largest markets in the world. cannabis from the country.

With the state still months away from opening the first dispensary, Choe says now is the time to start thinking about ways to reduce waste and improve sustainability.

“The timing is now as they write down how to do it right,” Choe said. “I think after seeing multiple states go about it and just seeing the comments, there is an absolute opportunity to look at one of the largest and most populous states, one of the most affected states by waste. “

Vessel is seeking to become part of the recreational marijuana industry in New York City and says she hopes to be included in the conversation when New York lawmakers eventually consider regulating cannabis waste.

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