Let’s level with each other: There’s a lot of one-time-use plastic involved in the cannabis industry. There. We said it. The elephant has been acknowledged.
But as Fred Rogers said, anything mentionable is manageable. And there are plenty of companies (some of them right here on the Front Range) creating sustainable packaging for marijuana products.
Doesn’t matter whether you’re buying flower, concentrate or edibles, dispensaries use a lot of plastic, often in the name of meeting regulations for child-resistant packaging. Also, this obviously isn’t a problem confined to the marijuana industry; single-use plastic is everywhere, it’s how everyone does business. From snack food companies to floss picks for your teeth to bows for presents and straws and disposable gloves and party balloons… everything is built around plastic.
So the marijuana industry, in its infancy, is primed to lead the way.
Here are a handful of companies offering sustainability without jeopardizing safety and quality.
Based in Denver (but developed in Boulder — more on that in a moment), Sana creates cannabis packaging using 100% plant-based hemp plastic, 100% reclaimed ocean plastic, “and other sustainable materials,” according to its website. The Sana Hemp Tube 78, for example, is ideal child-resistant packaging for vape cartridges and mini pre-rolls. And not only is the hemp plastic 100% plant-based, it’s also chemical-free and #7 recyclable. Sana makes tubes for larger pre-rolls and vape pens, as well as a container for flower, concentrates and edibles.
Hemp is a regenerative material that requires less water to cultivate than many other industrial crops. It’s also naturally insect resistant so it doesn’t require pesticides. Plus, hemp plants sequester metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air and rejuvenate the soil as a rotational crop.
To cut back on air pollution, Sana products are manufactured in the United States. The founders of Sana attended CU-Boulder and developed Sana in CanopyBoulder, a business accelerator and venture capital fund for the legal cannabis industry.
FunkSacs are fully recyclable, tamper evident bags that are robust in child safety standards. And the bags have an FDA approval as completely odorless storage for marijuana flower products and other raw cannabis materials. Also based in Denver, FunkSac also manufactures domestically to cut back on transportation pollution.
With their multi-use, child resistant, recyclable boxes, CRATIV focuses on disrupting the single-use mindset that dominates the cannabis industry. CRATIV boxes are great for volume sales of pre-rolls (say a dozen instead of one) or whole vaporizer set-ups or a bunch of gummy bears or concentrate. Made with food-grade polypropylene, these boxes are reusable and re-purposable, so even if you never keep another dozen joints in there, you could keep medicine, cosmetics, sharp objects or anything else you don’t want children getting a hold of. Oh, and this company is also based in Denver.
Last but not least, this Twin Falls, Idaho-based company makes one of the coolest packaging solutions out there. N2’s patented packaging process cans and hermetically seals cannabis to preserve the contents and extend shelf life. The packaging is fully recyclable, child-resistant (also available in senior friendly lids) and guaranteed to keep weed fresh throughout the entire shipping process.
Ask your favorite dispensary what kind of sustainable packaging they carry, and talk with them about why it’s important to you as a customer.