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ESG cannabis industry Sustainability Time

Sustainable Cultivation Should be Imperative


How much more can society, and our planet, withstand? Climate scientists and an increasing number of political and business leaders believe time is of the essence.

At Regennabis, with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of our multi-platformed service offering, we believe that we are in a critical period — the “Decade of Action” (through to 2030) — during which it is imperative that we build systems in the emerging cannabis industry that promote environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

Photo: Pastukh

As we emerge, somewhat tentatively, out of a bruising pandemic, humanity continues to struggle with myriad challenges brought about by a continued focus on short-term, narrow-thinking models and paradigms, which have regrettably paved the way for unsustainable business practices to be the norm. 


No matter where your organization lies on the seed-to-sale continuum, you have a responsibility to ensure that your standard operating procedures (SOPs) are aligned and deliver to more than an economic return; they must also deliver to both a social and environmental impact. Perhaps nowhere on the continuum is this more important than at the beginning of the cannabis plant’s life cycle.  

Regennabis ESG Standards

Cannabis growers have a myriad of choices: what, when, and how to grow — and even why (especially in certain U.S states!). Yet, perhaps the most important choice is the decision made on where to grow their crop. There are basically three options available: outdoor, indoor, or greenhouse. No matter where a cultivator chooses. 

Cultivators need help in better understanding the landscape of requirements (mandatory or market-driven) that they are legally required or expected to monitor, measure, and report on. 

In creating Regennabis ESG Standards for the Cannabis Industry (across all five license types), we have identified 10 principal areas of impact for cultivation license-holders (see sidebar). These areas should be monitored, measured, and reported on as part of the organization’s ESG Framework and Reporting Schedule.

With a focus on these sustainability disclosure topics as an integral part of day-to-day activities, we believe a cultivator will be better placed to deliver strategic, financial, and operational excellence — and hence create an “Omni-win” for all stakeholders. 

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and/or philanthropy programs, in any business, are often not material to that business and hence could be viewed by many as being performative. It is therefore essential that before creating a sustainability and/or CSR narrative, an organization understands its ESG position. The creation of industry-wide standards for both ESG and sustainability performance will be a necessary step in ensuring the cannabis industry delivers regenerative growth for all and not the few.

This article was first published in the spring 2022 issue of Cannabis & Tech Today. Read the full issue here.

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Cannabis & Tech Today - SOCIAL MEDIA