Since the 4/20 haze has mellowed, let’s talk about April’s additional green holiday: Earth Day. In 2017 Earth Day fell on Saturday, April 22nd and was celebrated throughout the country. Rachel Hessheimer, Harvest Manager at The Verdes Foundation, spoke at New Mexico NORML’s Earth Day & 420 celebration about Cannabis and Sustainability. Here is a quick snap-shot of what she shared.

Sustainability: What is it?

The goal of sustainability is to avoid the depletion of natural resources to maintain an ecological balance. But what does that have to do with cannabis?

Energy in an Emerging Industry

Growing Cannabis can present us with a challenging situation. Many practices around cannabis cultivation have been far from environmentally conscious. Energy costs associated with indoor cultivation and production of Cannabis equates to anywhere from 30-60% of the final product price.

The good news: this percentage could be reduced by growing Cannabis in greenhouses or outdoor environments. Many states allow medical cannabis patients to grow their own plants. This gives patients the opportunity to grow outdoors and reduce energy consumption. Growing outdoors is harder for larger producers due to restrictive regulations, but is a practice that, if used, could drastically reduce the industry’s large carbon-footprint.

Advocacy and Sustainability

Advocating for cannabis is key to help create a sustainable industry. The more we change the negative stigmas the more Cannabis will become socially normalized and accepted. This acceptance will give room for more people to join the fight for good industry practices which will lend to a sustainable future.

As 420 and Earth Day celebrations coincide, let us not forget that we have a responsibility to co-create greater environmental awareness through our practices. As we make it our personal missions to cultivate within ourselves greater health and wellbeing, let us also create this within our community and environment!

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