The rise of retail medical cannabis brings with it sophisticated packaging and new technology. Beyond packaging that ranges from cardboard to clear plastic containers, many dispensaries are also carrying vaporizer pens and disposable hash oil cartridges. And while grabbing a bag of well-branded upmarket nugs is an undeniably fulfilling part of the industry’s evolution, the resulting high clouds this industry’s less-than-green environmental impact.
CO2 oil is gaining popularity precisely because it offers a highly potent, solvent-free concentrate with higher percentages of terpenes than a butane or alcohol extraction. On top of that, CO2 oil comes in disposable cartridges that are clean, efficient and discrete. It’s no surprise that this style of hash pen makes cannabis extremely approachable and convenient. But what happens to the throwaway cartridges after you’ve burned through the concentrate?
Ann Arbor Wellness Collective just launched a recycling campaign to take back the empty cartridges and drained batteries. They are accepting all brands and types of vape pens and cartridges, regardless of origin. The dispensary’s willingness to tackle one area of cannabis packaging waste is just the beginning of what will surely become a topic of discussion as the industry continues to grow. At this point A2WC is the only dispensary we know of that has a recycling campaign, but we can expect that it certainly won’t be the only one.