The Canadian marijuana industry is growing at an unprecedented rate. Many factors contribute to this growth, and it's becoming increasingly important to think of sustainable production practices. This blog post will explore what these practices are and why they're so essential to a healthy cannabis market in Canada.
The cultivation process of cannabis can have devastating effects on the environment as it's not always done responsibly or sustainably. The increased demand for cannabis has led producers to use harmful fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, contaminating soil and water sources when they leech into the environment.
These contaminants pose serious health risks for humans, such as cancer, congenital disabilities, or reproductive problems. That's why sustainable growing methods are so important.
What are sustainable growing methods?
Sustainable growing practices protect the environment by reducing environmental contamination and conserving resources. They ensure that the cannabis industry will be sustainable for generations to come while also keeping consumers healthy and safe from hazardous chemicals.
Canada's federally licensed producers have implemented several of these practices, and they must continue to do so as demand continues to grow, perhaps even adding some new ones along the way.
What methods should cannabis growers use?
The first and most effective method is using organic fertilizers such as manure, fish emulsion, or composted plant material. This form of fertilizer can help promote healthy growth in plants without any negative health effects on consumers. CBD oil can also be used for pest control by drawing harmful bugs away from plants and to keep harmful insects at bay. Using biopesticides is another safe method for protecting crops.
Anaerobic composting keeps nutrients in the ground where they belong, preventing water pollution while keeping microbes from being exposed to air (and killing them). This organic and natural form of growth will ensure that cannabis cultivation in Canada is healthy and safe for future generations to come.
Limit Water Usage
Another sustainable practice includes limiting water use, as marijuana plants contain a higher concentration of cannabinoids when grown with less water. Over-watering also produces more stems with fewer flowers, wasting energy and money while increasing production costs. Reducing the amount of water used will also help prevent runoffs from contaminating the environment.
Some growers may have no choice but to use synthetic pesticides to protect their crops, but they should be used in very small quantities that are not dangerous or harmful to humans. These types of pesticides can be more effective than naturally-derived ones but pose a risk of contamination.
Packaging is also something to keep in mind. When cannabis is sold in dried flower form, it can sometimes be wrapped in plastic or paper that isn't recyclable. When consumers buy this type of product, they should try to keep the packaging as minimal as possible to reduce its environmental impact.
Government growers operate out of electricity-hungry greenhouses, which can be expensive to maintain. They must limit their energy consumption and use renewable, environmentally-friendly sources such as solar panels or windmills.
Finally, let's look at the air pollution cannabis growers create with indoor and outdoor processes. The carbon dioxide released into the air from plant growth causes harm to the environment. Growers must also be conscious of their emissions, like those from volatile solvents or ammonia that can leach into groundwater and streams and cause long-term damage to human health.
A solution to this problem may be to use closed-loop water systems that prevent wastewater from seeping into the environment and using carbon filters within greenhouses. These practices are important for ensuring that cannabis growing is safe for human consumption and sustainable for future generations.
What is one of the biggest challenges facing sustainable cannabis?
One challenge that growers face is complacency: when a customary practice is established, it's easy for people to assume that they shouldn't change their methods or try new things. However, many growers are beginning to take the time to ask, "How can we do this better?" They're taking a proactive approach to sustainability, and consumers should support those who follow through with these practices.
Canada's legal cannabis industry has seen some controversy due to its subpar quality. Still, if the industry continues to make smart decisions regarding sustainable growing practices while implementing organic fertilizers and pesticides, it can be a viable source for safe cannabis that isn't harmful to people's health.
By using compost and other natural growing methods, Canada's cannabis producers will ensure an environmentally friendly, healthy supply of marijuana in the years to come.
If you're curious about a particular CAMMP product and how it was grown, don't hesitate to ask us in the chat!