For a product often associated with hippy-dippy-earthy people, cannabis creates a whole lot of waste. There’s the whole water usage problem that weed cultivation creates, especially in big markets with spotty regulation. What’s worse is that about half the weed we grow doesn’t even get used.
The Canadian government, due to legalize cannabis later this summer, has taken an oddly strong tactic for dealing with marijuana waste: they mandate that it all be destroyed.
“We’re growing like 3,000 kilograms to a 108,000 thousand kilograms each year, that’s an awful lot of waste,”
“We’re growing like 3,000 kilograms to a 108,000 kilograms each year, that’s an awful lot of waste,” Terry Lake, VP of a Canadian cannabis producing company and a former health minister in British Columbia, told CTV News. But Lake said that half of those kilograms goes into the trash.
“The stalk could be used as a reinforcer for cement, another use of hemp fibre, or could be used as insulation,” Lake suggested, but the Canadian government doesn’t allow for that.
“There is some great future potential stuff there, but we’re mandated by Health Canada to destroy and dispose,” said Shawn McDougall, a production manager at canadian producing company BlissCo.
The waste material in question is generally low in THC, so it’s use to churn out concentrate is often negligible, but it has plenty of other uses. The fiber can be used to create products including clothing or even juice.
“We are in the process of doing research on edibles and on vape pens, and then we anticipate there will be other high concentrate and high THC products like shatter available as well.” said BlissCo CEO Damian Kettlewell.
“I have every confidence that in the future they’ll look at how we can utilize what is now just a waste product into something that’s useful for Canadian society.”