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Cannabis companies often get a bad rap from environmentalists, due to the amount of water and electricity that it takes for commercial cultivation. But with sustainability issues at the forefront of consumers’ minds, more cannabis brands are committing to eco-conscious practices. 

It’s not easy. 

State regulations that aim to keep products away from children lead to excessive, wasteful packaging. As part of Prop 64, California building codes actually require indoor growers to increase cooling, air filtration and lighting in flower areas, which increases overall energy consumption. Sun-grown cannabis farms have begun implementing techniques like biodynamic and dry farming in order to reduce water needs –– but these practices are difficult to perfect, and a mistake could sacrifice the entire crop.  

But some companies that have figured out how to incorporate eco-friendly initiatives into their production processes without going belly up.

Here are four cannabis businesses leading by example, and proving that sustainability and cannabis can be synonymous.

Legion of Bloom
Committed to being a good steward of California’s precious land, Legion of Bloom, which creates custom vape cartridges, is no stranger to sustainability. “We founded the Legion to not only create quality cannabis experiences for our friends and family, but to also use the brand as a vehicle for environmental stewardship,” says Legion’s Co-Founder and CMO Troy Meadows.

The Northern California cannabis brand named a line of vapes after the monarch butterfly, and donates proceeds to help build and maintain the insect’s habitat. Legion of Bloom has also partnered with ‘One Tree Planted’ and uses a portion of sales to help replant trees in areas in areas devastated by California wildfires.

Plastic poses the greatest threat to our oceans. Each year, plastic alone harms or kills more than 300,000 marine animals. Kikoko, which makes cannabis-infused teas and honeys, takes that threat seriously. The company has introduced tea tins made from recycled steel that are 100% recyclable and covered in tamper-resistant shrink wrap that is fully compostable. Even better, the tea tins are designed to be upcycled, so that you can use them as containers for your rolling papers and lighters.

Kikoko’s CBD and THC honey “straws” contain zero plastic, and are made from artisanal honey and sun-grown cannabis that utilizes organic and biodynamic farming practices. All ingredients in the company’s infused teas are sourced from non-GMO whole-plant herbs and flowers, creating a guilt-free experience you can savor with each sip.

Care By Design
Minimizing waste is no easy feat when it comes to compliant packaging laws. Care By Design offers an array of high CBD and THC tinctures, capsules, pain creams and vapes. The company’s design team calculated that if you stacked a year’s worth of child-resistant cartridge packaging, you’d be left with a pile more than 30 times higher than Mount Everest. They decided that was unacceptable.

Care by Design kept innovating until they found a solution. By adding an additional step to the manufacturing process, the company discovered how to make vape carts that are inherently child-resistant and don’t require additional child-proof plastic.

Flow Kana
A unique Northern California cannabis brand, Flow Kana is comprised of a network of sun-grown farms across the Emerald Triangle. By representing multi-generational farmers who embrace sustainable practices, Flow Kana has helped increase access to organically grown, pesticide-free cannabis. The company has made it their mission to encourage customers to know where their cannabis is coming from, including the way it is grown and the individuals who cultivated it.

A majority of farmers in Flow Kana’s network are Sun+Earth Certified. This program signifies that cannabis flower is grown holistically, responsibly, and regeneratively for the well-being of all people, farmers, and our entire ecosystem.

Keep these eco-conscious companies in mind when you’re shopping for cannabis–– you can make a difference with the brands you support.