Published 1 year ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Image: Moon Made Farms/Instagram
While the herb is heralded as a natural solution for pain, anxiety and other ailments, conventional growing practices across the industry are far from earth friendly.
A coalition of more than 50 regenerative organic cannabis farmers and brands,
partner dispensaries, allied businesses and nonprofit advocacy organizations
have launched Weed Like Change — a consumer
education campaign to advocate for regenerative organic cultivation of cannabis,
and shift the industry toward environmentally responsible and ethically produced
Convened by the nonprofit Sun+Earth Certified, Weed
Like Change aims to educate cannabis consumers at retail outlets, points of
sale, online and through a series of educational events about the environmental
impacts of conventionally grown products, the advantages of regenerative organic
farming, and the health benefits of cannabis products produced to organic
certification standards. The campaign is also designed to increase the financial
viability of regenerative organic cannabis brands; improve market access for
independent and small-scale legacy farmers; and raise consumer awareness about
the role cannabis production plays in either contributing to, or helping to
mitigate, the effects of climate change.
The cannabis industry has exploded in recent years as legalization has spread
across the US. And while the versatile herb is considered a natural and viable
alternative to pharmaceuticals for pain and anxiety management, among other
uses, the environmental impacts of the blooming industry are far from
earth-friendly: As cannabis giant Canopy Growth shared in its first ESG
(and one of the industry’s first, as well), released in January, its 2020
emissions were equivalent to burning more than 65 million pounds of coal.
With the UN estimating that conventional agriculture practices (primarily
food) account for roughly a third of global greenhouse gas
emissions, the growing
has come to be seen as a potential solution for future-proofing farming and the
myriad industries that rely on
by mitigating its impacts on climate change. As more major cannabis players
begin to account for and share their carbon footprint data, the industry at
large can begin to nip its climate impacts in the bud (so to speak) — Weed Like
Change aims to enlist conscious consumers to drive awareness and demand for
products that are cultivated more responsibly.
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"By amplifying farmer and consumer voices, and making the connection between
cannabis cultivation and climate change, Weed Like Change is educating the
public on the most pressing cannabis industry issues of our time," said Casey
O'Neill, regenerative organic cannabis farmer and Sun+Earth Certified Board
President. "The corporatization and mass production of cannabis in indoor,
energy-intensive warehouses is not sustainable and has a disproportionally high
carbon footprint; and we'd like to shift the industry toward more regenerative
and socially just production models. This effort seeks to help consumers
understand how uplifting farmers is a key priority if we are to protect and
revitalize our local cannabis economies.”
Studies show that consumers support and want access to healthy, environmentally
friendly cannabis products, but they need to know these products exist and where
to find them. According to a recent consumer
by the US Cannabis Council, more than 1,000 respondents chose "health" and
"the environment" as the most relevant factors guiding their cannabis purchases.
As part of the campaign, scores of retail workers will be trained to engage with
consumers on the benefits of regenerative organic cannabis. Each campaign
partner will also be supplied with educational materials including informative
point-of-sale displays and QR Code stickers that enable consumers to learn more
about regenerative organic cannabis. Dr. Bronner's — a longtime advocate of
both regenerative ag
and psychedelic-assisted therapy and
— is producing limited-edition versions of its Pure-Castile 4oz soap bottles
with a special campaign label in support of the Weed Like Change campaign, which
will be available at campaign education events.
Founded in 2019 by cannabis industry leaders, experts and advocates with a
common commitment to regenerative organic agriculture, farmworker protections
and community engagement, Sun+Earth — which has certified over 60 regenerative
organic farms and manufacturers in California, Michigan, Oregon and
Washington.— is also asking consumers to sign a
pledge in support of regenerative
organic cannabis, and to urge their local dispensaries to carry better-grown
The Weed Like Change campaign will launch throughout California and Oregon on
April 11 and continue through July 11, 2022. By April 20, 2022, Earth’s
atmospheric carbon concentration is expected to reach 420 parts per million for
the first time in human history. An event held in Venice, California that
day will raise awareness about the large carbon footprint of industrial indoor
cannabis production and the solutions that regenerative organic farming
practices hold for the planet.
For more information on the campaign — including a full list of participating
farms, brands and retail businesses — please visit the campaign
Published Mar 30, 2022 8am EDT / 5am PDT / 1pm BST / 2pm CEST