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CT cannabis businesses are not subject to environmental regulations despite heavy power and water use
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CT cannabis businesses are not subject to environmental regulations despite heavy power and water use

As Connecticut prepares for its recreational program, the departments responsible for licensing and environmental protection Connecticut’s cannabis producers lack state-level regulations in regards to sustainability.

Kaitlyn Krasselt, spokesperson at the state Department of Consumer Protection said that nothing in its policies and procedures specifically addresses sustainability.

Krasselt stated that regulations relating to the environment usually fall under the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Will Healey, spokesperson for DEEP, stated that pesticide use is regulated by DEEP regardless of crop.

Healey sent an email explaining that cannabis other than hemp is not federally illegal and that the EPA has not approved pesticides for use on marijuana. Only a few pesticides have been approved for hemp use. Otherwise, Connecticut growers should follow the DEEP website’s guidance.

Healey stated that cannabis permits are up to the Department of Consumer Protection.

The environmental regulatory agency in most states that have legalized marijuana is separate from the one that manages the cannabis businesses. This can lead, according to a report, to oversights of environmental concerns up until the licenses are granted. ReportTriumvirate Environmental, a waste management company.

Connecticut’s cannabis businesses often have their own priorities and plans in order to encourage sustainable business practices, particularly for cultivators. Experts and industry reports agree that cannabis production requires large amounts electricity and water.

It’s something that I think is really not being talked about enough. Matte Namer, founder of Cannabeta Realty and chief executive officer, spoke out to say that cannabis real estate has a large carbon footprint. I hope there will be mitigation.

Namer stated that it is particularly difficult in the Northeast where cannabis must be grown inside.

Connecticut plans to open next month the first application window for companies involved in the recreational programs. Experts say environmental sustainability is a topic of increasing interest in the industry.

Our members make it a priority to reduce their carbon footprint where possible while conducting their businesses in an environmentally-friendly manner through smart growing, manufacturing and packaging, said Linda Kowalski, executive director of the Connecticut Medical Cannabis Council.

The four cultivation facilities in each state form the council.

Thom Brodeur is chief executive officer at N2 Packaging Systems. He said that while some of that growth is due to the industry’s growth, others are driven by consumers’ desire for sustainable products. According to the company’s website, it creates packaging that is more sustainable and preserves cannabis products for longer periods of time.

Brodeur stated that consumers have a deep interest in the topic. This is especially true for younger generations. Younger generations, including millennials, are more concerned about the environment than those older.

He believes that the industry will continue to grow in focus.

Only Curaleaf, one of Connecticut’s four cultivation facilities, responded to a request.

Raheem Ulqah, Curaleaf’s director for corporate social responsibility, stated in a statement that sustainability was a core pillar of their Rooted In Good Corporate Responsibility Initiative. The firm created a task force to reduce carbon emissions and partnered up with a green tech startup in order to examine their carbon footprint.

Uqdahs statement indicated that the next steps were to develop a plan for carbon neutrality and recycling.

Uqdahs statement stated that long-term goals include a pledge to achieve their carbon footprint goal or offset by 2030 by 2025 to 30, additional recycling initiatives, and pursuing energy-efficient options and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification. They also committed to supplier diversity.

Uqdahs statement stated that we hope to do our bit for the planet by working towards carbon neutrality, greater transparency and making better decisions about our ongoing interactions and with earth systems, resource allocation, and supplier diversity initiatives. We also established a set of recommendations for best practices in environmental sustainability.

The October 2020 issue of the National Cannabis Industry Association was published. ReportThe industry’s environmental sustainability was addressed, with 10 key takeaways.

These policies included best practices such as reusable packaging and tracking data on environmental metrics. They also optimize the use of resources and policies that support sustainable development.

Dr. Kevin Sabet (president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana) said in a statement that legislation is necessary to force growers to adhere to stricter environmental regulations. Sabet is also a critic for the industry and author of Smokescreen.

Sabet stated in the statement that taxing excessive energy consumption is one option.

Sabet wrote that Marijuana cultivation has been long known for its inability sustain itself. Marijuana plants are extremely thirsty and require a lot of water to cultivate.

Joseph Gresko (D-Stratford), co-chair of Environment Committee, stated that the issue was not one that the committee had considered. According to him, smaller growers can push for sustainability.

He said that he was certain that the topic of sustainability will come up as we go through all the fits and stops.

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