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The Growing Plastic Problem in the Cannabis Industry

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The fact that cannabis is a plant, adds to its great selling points and towards legalization. However, cannabis which is smokable has a minimal association with its actual agricultural state. Its buds (cured and dried) are plucked directly from the plant. However, for individuals seeking relief from a number of symptoms, or for customers looking for relaxation, natural remedies like cannabis are truly hard to find.  Due to multiple factors, the growing plastic problem in the cannabis industry is concerning. With the rise of legalization for cannabis, there was also an introduction of an increase in environmental cost such as

  • Disposable methods of consumption
  • Packaging adhering to the laws
  • Farming practices

All of the above have given rise to waste with no good ways for the industry to handle. Let’s try to understand what we have here and how would we step towards an eco-friendly future for the cannabis industry.

Plastic use

With the tight regulations of the cannabis industry, the consumers are dependant on the legal cannabis market. They are only going to receive whatever their local dispensary will decide to sell. However, a lot of consumers are looking for other practices that are sustainable, which is adding to their demands from the companies.

Curaleaf‘s Director of purchasing, Jed McWhorter, explained that with the increasing awareness of climate change globally, people are understanding their choices and are learning to deal with their excess waste. Reduction in the usage of single-use plastic would be a significant step, as many states have packaging requirements that lead to the use of single-use plastics in the cannabis industry.

McWhorter referred to the add-ons to the packaging, that is designed to keep children out of reach of these cannabis products. Additionally, these extra packaging restrictions aren’t applicable to other legal intoxicants, which can include alcohol, etc. Referring to the California regulations, the law authorized adult-use cannabis in California. However, there was a difference in the packaging requirements for formally “manufactured” cannabis products (topicals, edibles, and concentrates), and smokable cannabis (pre-rolled joints or flower).

Packaging requirements

Moreover, the state gives a packaging list that has the following requirements for a cannabis package –

  • Child-safety – The plastic packaging of the cannabis product is required to be no less than 4 millimeters thick, and must also be heat-sealed while adhering to the Federal Poison Prevention Packaging Act.
  • Opacity (only for edibles) –  This requirement focuses on the use of amber-colored glass only, creating a preference for single-use plastics.
  • Tamper-evident – This focuses on requirements such as plastic seals. which is typically a sticker adhered to the sides of the lid, which is ripped when the jars are opened. Typically, tamper-evident seals that can clearly tell if the product had been opened before or not.
  • Resealable – Multi-purpose products are required to come in packaging with any sort of closure, whether an adhesive seal or a lid.

To top it all off, these are the requirements for California ONLY.

The 2 cannabis companies that are trying to combat these issues

Despite the need for the packaging to be single-use, there is no such law requiring the use of virgin plastic. This further provides the cannabis companies with the opportunity to look for alternatives, keeping factors like high material costs, in mind.

Ocean Cannabis Co.

The co-owners of Ocean Cannabis Co., Mary Ersig and her partner, started their company in 2013. However, only after legalization, and attending the MJBizCon in Las Vegas, Nevada, did they really understand the rapidly increasing environmental problem in the cannabis industry.

According to Ersig, there was a lot of plastic, with multiple layers in the packaging. Hence, they began using a paper cube instead, to turn towards something that consumers can simply dispose of in the recycling bin, as it is biodegradable. However, it didn’t take long for them to actually find the packaging source that they use currently – ocean plastic.

Currently, recycled plastic which is typically harvested from the ocean, owing to Oceanworks, is the main packaging source of Ocean Cannabis Co. The cannabis company uses plastic to turn it into pellets. They then, further transforming them into cubes which are then considered s their packaging. Ersig explains that they have utilized about 6 tons of plastic, found in the ocean. According to the estimates, Ocean Cannabis Co.s each product is the approximate equivalent of 15 straws’ value of plastic. However, it does not come for free.

Each Oceanworks plastic container costs 27 cents, while China’s boilerplate plastic packaging costs mere pennies per piece. Ersig discusses how this is the major reason why ocean-recovered plastic isn’t a widely used option in the cannabis industry.

Curaleaf

Curaleaf, one of the biggest companies in the cannabis industry, also decided to explore other sustainable packaging options. However, it proved to be a tricky process. Additionally, Curaleaf possesses multiple product lines and operates in many states, which all require the company to adhere to their different requirements for packaging.

McWhorter explains how their cross-functional team ensures the packaging requirements in each state with 3 review sessions before they are printed. Furthermore, they use glass, recycled plastics, and paper, wherever they can.

Curaleaf explains, that while taking care of posts, it is planning to declare a partner in the coming year, 2021. This will aid the company in understanding its environmental footprint and will further discuss options that will lessen the footprint. They will focus on social equity and sustainable perspectives.

How can conscious consumers help?

Consumers can educate themselves. and shop smartly. However, there are further, although limited currently, options that can help decrease the carbon footprint-

Alternative materials

Here are a few things to look out for in the packaging, the next time you shop for cannabis products –

  • Hemp plastics, like the plastics produced by Sana Packaging
  • Recycled plastic
  • Paper
  • Glass ( even better if it is reusable for other purposes)

Focus on companies trying to help

If possible, try to make a priority to purchase from companies such as Ocean Cannabis Co.

This would greatly help, as these companies have already sacrificed multiple costs, only to be able to offer a sustainable cannabis product.

Raise your voice

Understanding sustainability is necessary for bigger companies such as Curaleaf. Understanding the issue of sustainable packaging, companies are more likely to try to turn them into successful business models. The same is applicable to dispensaries. The demand for such companies and their products will only further ensure the availability of them.

The cannabis industry is far from solving the plastic problem entirely. However, an increasing number of companies are trying to explore options and think about sustainable solutions. So, the next time you go cannabis shopping, try to look for more eco-minded cannabis brands in your locality. Even if you come back empty-handed, make sure that you’re local dispensary is aware that you and your money are looking for better options.

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Cannabis

Marijuana Uses Not Sufficient Reason For Disqualification from White House Jobs

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Marijuana and jobs

Marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills are under discussion. Other resolutions regarding cannabis to improve the working of the cannabis system also happened, reported nbc news.

It was highlighted that the individuals cannot face disqualification solely because the individual used marijuana. Such measures are unfit and unacceptable. The office of Joe Biden allows individuals to apply for an administrative-job without any limitations on recreational-cannabis use. In addition, the White House has updated its hiring policies and guidelines. According to the new rules for hiring, recreational marijuana use will not prohibit anyone from applying and obtaining a position in the office

Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level and drug use was a barrier to getting a job in administration in the White House. The Office of Personnel Management Recommendations changes hiring policies. The use of marijuana, even though it is illegal, but its use cannot be the only reason for rejecting an employee or disqualifying one. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Sales Reaches Skies, Set Highest Mark With $17.5 Billion Sales

New Guidelines For Hiring And Recreational Use Of Marijuana

The White House allows the selection of candidates on a case-by-case basis. Moreover, marijuana infrequent users will be under consideration for top-secret security clearance selection. Furthermore, the Personnel Security Division and security officials will help in the selection of candidates. 

Kathleen McGettigan is the current director for the Office of Personnel Management. McGettigan released a memorandum about hiring recreational users of marijuana. Shortly after the memorandum, the release of new guidelines occurred. 

According to it, 49% of Americans use marijuana off and on. Moreover, the SAMHSA’s 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health runs a survey according to which nearly half of the participants have used cannabis. 

Some individuals are disqualified for a job merely based on using marijuana. Moreover, individuals with the best qualification characteristics for a job do not get a job because they use cannabis from time to time. As a result, suitable candidates for jobs are unemployed despite their experience, education, and other skills. 

What is the Vetting Process and How it Helps in Selection?

The appointed individuals for a staff position in the White House undergo a process called the vetting process. During vetting, process officials determine whether individuals qualify for a security clearance or not. 

Moreover, applicants that apply for the staff position must be honest about marijuana and other drug use. The extent of drug use determines for which job the individual is suitable. 

According to the new policy, individuals will not get disqualification for using cannabis from their office immediately. Moreover, such individuals will receive a waiver. Individuals with a waiver must agree that they will never use marijuana again during their government job and they will not hesitate to perform random drug testing. Such individuals will work remotely for some duration. However, the White House did not specify the extent of the duration.

What to Monitor?

Monitoring and selection of employees is the responsibility of McGettigan. The applicants are to be considered on a case-by-case basis. There are certain things about applicants that the officials must know. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Industry, Celiac Disease, And Processed Flour

Gathering information about drug use and other characteristics of applicants makes the selection process easy. Moreover, applicants must be honest about their character, conduct, and personalities. The officials selecting employees must know the nature of the job for which the applicant applies. And also, the job in which the person is employed. Furthermore, individuals must acquire the nature, seriousness, and circumstances of conduct. 

It is essential to determine whether the applicant has gone to rehabilitation centers at any age. Knowing about applicants and understanding them enables selecting the best candidate for the job. Moreover, individuals with talent, experience, and suitable qualifications will not lose their job only because of infrequent marijuana use. 

Biden’s efforts towards bringing the most suitable administrative workers through amending hiring guidelines will enable them to gather individuals with the highest standards for providing services to individuals. 

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Study Reveals Vaping Cannabis Is More Lethal Than Smoking For Teenagers

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Cannabis vaping

Everyone knows vaping damages the lungs of individuals. But a recent study suggests that vaping cannabis damages the lungs of teenagers more than vaping tobacco. The risk of lung injury increases in individuals between the ages of 12 to 17 years old if they have a habit of vaping cannabis.

The lung injury causes difficulty in breathing, whistling, and wheezing. Moreover, due to difficulty in breathing, teenagers become unable to perform day-to-day activities. According to the study, teenagers who vape cannabis have a doubled risk of developing lung injuries than teens who smoke or use e-cigarettes. 

Research Regarding Vaping Cannabis 

The research leader was Carol Boyd, and it occurs in collaboration with the University of Michigan. Carol Boyd is a professor at the university’s School of Nursing. Boyd is co-director of the University of Michigan’s Center for the Study of Drugs, Alcohol, Smoking, and Health.

According to Boyd, smoking cigarettes or e-cigarettes is unhealthy for health, but vaping cannabis is more damaging than both. 

ALSO READ: Cannabis Industry, Celiac Disease, And Processed Flour

The researchers did not note whether teens consumed legal cannabis or not. Thousands of participants between 12 to 17 ages were surveyed for the research study. Furthermore, the participants themselves reported symptoms of lung injury in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. 

Moreover, the researchers discovered that cigarettes and e-cigarettes do not cause respiratory illness and injury. However, the research does not focus on the effect generated by vaping cannabis and tobacco together. 

Survey Findings

According to survey-based research, teenagers who vape cannabis have an 81% greater risk of wheezing or whistling in the chest. The increase in wheezing is observable in cigarette and e-cigarette users as they exhibit a 15% raise, and a 9% rise in the risk of wheezing, respectively. 

Apart from the increase in whistling teens, they also experience other changes due to vaping cannabis. Teenagers who are habitual of vaping marijuana suffer 71% sleep disturbances due to wheezing while sleeping. 96% speech limitations, 33% wheezing during exercise, and 26% dry coughing at night occur in teens that vape cannabis. The overall health condition of teenagers gets worse with vaping cannabis. Smoking and e-cigarettes also damage the lungs, but the effects of vaping marijuana are more severe.  

Moreover, the use of vaping devices has increased, and so have the mysterious lung illnesses. Furthermore, before the coronavirus pandemic, the deaths of individuals due to cannabis vaping increased. It results in the downfall of vaping industry. 

What Do Others Have To Say About Vaping Cannabis?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that vitamin E acetate is present in all teenagers with a mysterious lung illness-causing respiratory symptoms. Moreover, vitamin E acetate is a constituent of the e-liquids containing THC, called EVALI. Thus, vaping marijuana is a cause of lung injury leading to wheezing during exercise and other symptoms of lung-illness. 

Furthermore, individuals that have lung injuries contain Vitamin E acetate in their pulmonary fluid. According to Boyd, vaping-associated lung injuries and vitamin E acetate have a link to one another.  

ALSO READ: U.S. States Most Likely To Legalize Cannabis Recreational Use

Michael R. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News. Michael R. Bloomberg opposes vaping of cannabis and tobacco. Moreover, Bloomberg has organized campaigns and gives money for banning e-cigarettes and tobacco-vaping in the U.S. 

According to Dr. Albert Rizzo, the FDA does not ensure that cannabis products and e-cigarettes contain the ingredients mentioned on the label. Moreover, according to Rizzo, individuals and teens vaping cannabis and tobacco are at the mercy of the manufacturer.

Furthermore, Rizzo criticizes that the manufacturers of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vaping devices are not providing FDA sufficient data. They are not removing products from the market as per prior decisions. 

According to Rizzo, researchers must focus on the effects of inhaling substances and vaping devices on lung conditions. 

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CBD Oil Solutions To Many Pandemic Mental Health Issues

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CBD for stress

In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, individuals with mental health issues, particularly anxiety and stress patients, have increased. A study suggests CBD Oil heals and reduces anxiety issues. 

Individuals take time to understand and accept changes. Therefore, immediate or sudden alterations in life increase anxiety risk. The coronavirus pandemic has forced individuals to make abrupt changes and adapt to new circumstances. Because of it, individuals feel exhausted, under pressure, stress and also experience episodes of anxiety and depression.

To uplift mental health, a Canadian company CBD2HEAL is working and researching to form new CBD (Cannabidiol) products. Individuals can do various things to improve their mental health condition. They can try exercising, gardening, or caring for a plant, eat healthily, find new hobbies, and use high quantity CBD oil. 

ALSO READ: Know Doctors Recommended Marijuana Tips

Various products contain CBD and perform different functions. Some formulations contain CBD to reduce pain, while some products contain-CBD to give anxiety relief. The individuals can use these products to relieve stress and deal with anxiety, which is vital for many due to stressful pandemic situations.

Work From Home, COVID-19, and Use Of CBD 

Individuals during the coronavirus pandemic have to spend most of their time at home; they were to work from home, which had its pros and cons. Working from home does enable employees to work freely without getting formally dressed. In addition, with this, the individuals can form their comfortable working environment to focus more on their tasks.

However, the majority states otherwise as most of the individuals face difficulty in concentrating at work from home. This is because many individuals have reported to build a habit of scrolling social networking sites before initiating work. 

The difficulty in concentrating affects work performance but there is nothing to worry about as one can use Cannabidiol products that can improve the focus and concentration. Moreover, cannabis containing CBD edibles contains THC in normal concentration so that it does not cause individuals to become high. 

CBD Oil To Reduce Anxiety 

It is vital to treat diseases and disorders whether they are physical ones or psychological ones. Leaving mental health issues unchecked can worsen the condition. Also, untreated mental disorders may lead to death. 

Thus, individuals must treat their stress and anxiety issues as soon as possible. Moreover, anxiety can lead to depression and suicide if left untreated for longer durations. Individuals can use CBD oil to reduce stress and achieve mental peace. Some individuals, in an attempt to reduce stress and anxiety, start drinking alcohol, smoking, and other unhealthy habits. An unhealthy lifestyle can further make the condition of such individuals worse. 

Using CBD products to lower stress and anxiety is effective and safe. The plus point is that individuals do not experience withdrawal-symptoms with the use of CBD products for treating and reducing stress. CBD products for stress reduction are easy to consume like a daily supplement.

ALSO READ: Cannabis Sales Reaches Skies, Set Highest Mark With $17.5 Billion Sales

Does Cannabidiol Products Effect Sleep?

Sleep is essential for health and bodily functions as, during sleep, the body repairs itself. Not enough bedtime rest increases the risk of developing the psychological condition. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, individuals were unable to get eight hours of continuous sleep. Thus, the daily routine was upside down without a proper schedule. It is a matter of fact that people with anxiety issues are unable to get sufficient sleep. If individuals use CBD-oil then there are high chances that the anti-anxiety effect of CBD-oil will decrease symptoms of insomnia resulting in better quality sleep. 

In a nutshell, CBD products aids individuals in relaxing and sleeping. The relaxing effect enables to lower stress levels and also improve quality of sleep. To lead a healthy life, experts also recommend avoiding excessive use of mobile phones and electronics. It is beneficial for healthy sleep to stop using electronics two hours before bedtime. 

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