Cannabis Sustainability Symposium Coming To A Virtual Audience This Week


The worldwide cannabis community will have the opportunity to explore trends in sustainable production and other issues vital to the industry during the Cannabis Sustainability Symposium, which will be presented to a global audience this week. The event, founded by the City of Denver Cannabis Sustainability Working Group and the Cannabis Certification Council, will be live online May 20 and 21, featuring notable speakers from across the globe leading cutting-edge discussions on sustainability.

The Cannabis Sustainability Symposium

The cannabis sustainability symposium brings together top experts from around the world to discuss the cannabis industry’s environmental challenges and best practices to manage them. The event aims to provide education on the latest tools, technologies, and techniques for efficient cannabis production while offering those attending the opportunity to develop new partnerships to advance sustainability initiatives. Now an internationally recognized event, the symposium is a collaboration between the City of Denver and the Cannabis Certification Council (CCC), a nonprofit focused on educating the cannabis industry and consumers about sustainable and quality practices. 

Last year’s cannabis sustainability symposium was held in October and included sessions on energy efficiency, social equity, sustainable packaging, carbon sequestration, water conservation, waste reduction, emerging technologies, and supply chain efficiency, among other topics. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the CCC produced a variety of virtual events including the CSS series “HAPPY PLANTS!” and sponsored Q&A sessions.

“Building on the success of our online events throughout 2020 and 2021, we are looking forward to virtually bringing together industry experts for the May Symposium,” CCC board chair Ben Gelt said in a press release. “Sustainability is at the forefront of the industry’s focus and the Symposium will shed light on best practices, biggest problems and solutions for a sustainable future.”

The Environmental Impact Of Cannabis Production

As cannabis legalization continues to spread across the country (and the world), interest in the environmental impact of the legal marijuana industry is coming under increasing scrutiny. Research from Colorado State University found that cannabis production creates more greenhouse gas emissions than the state’s coal industry and that growing only an ounce of cannabis indoors can have the same environmental impact as burning seven to 16 gallons of gas. Additionally, according to information from New Frontier Data, indoor cannabis cultivation labs produce 25 times more carbon than outdoor grows and are 70 times more energy-intensive than commercial office buildings. 

In addition to sustainable cannabis production, the symposium will include events centered around other topics relevant to the industry including emerging markets and social equity programs. Susan Soares, the CEO of the State of Cannabis and a children’s book author from California, will be moderating a panel about cannabis events at the symposium. She believes that cannabis reform should include provisions that allow people to freely enjoy the plant.

“With cannabis legalization coming online in so many states and countries, one thing really stands out to me as an important piece that is being missed is the opportunities to connect to people and the plant,” Soares said in an email to High Times. “In many jurisdictions where cannabis is legal, there is no place to legally consume it. That makes no sense.”

“The cannabis culture is deep-rooted and needs to be given a chance to thrive,” she added. “By making cannabis consumption events and lounges an important part of the legalization roll-out, the culture will determine its success, not the suits that have never even consumed this beautiful plant.”

Now in its sixth year, the 2021 Cannabis Sustainability Symposium kicks off on Thursday, May 20 at 11:00 a.m. MDT, continuing through 1:30 p.m. the following day. More information including a schedule of events and a link to purchase tickets is available online.



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