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The Brown Beer Bottle of Cannabis

Posted by Emma Baron on

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Song of the Week - After the Gold Rush by Neil Young

One of those songs that helps you gain a bit of perspective on time and place.  Young said in his biography: “I recognize in it now this thread that goes through a lotta my songs that’s this time-travel thing… When I look out the window, the first thing that comes to my mind is the way this place looked a hundred years ago.” With After the Gold Rush, you also get a rare glimpse of the future through Neil's perspective. Is he far off?
The Long Form -  The Ultraviolet Jar should be the brown beer bottle of cannabis

"There is no 'away' to throw things to" - This quote adorns the walls of my mum's 1974 Westfalia, written in sharpie by the previous owner, who fully embraced her role as hippy in hippy-bus.  I find it equal parts inspiring and barfy, but ultimately there's a grain of truth in there.

Recyclable options for cannabis packaging are in their infancy stage with Tweed & Terracycle's collection plan. We're happy to see that an effort is being made, but we'll need to see buy-in from a critical mass of licensed producers and provincial governments to see a recycling program grow. Currently, the Tweed recycling program isn't available in Quebec, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, the Yukon, or Nunavut. Theoretically, cannabis consumers in these provinces could just use their regular recycling facilities, however not every plastic cannabis container is recyclable in every territory.

Surprise! Just because it has the recycling symbol and a number doesn't mean that your province has the facilities to process it. Beyond recycling, there are a few ways that cannabis packaging could become more sustainable. 

While the obvious answer for the future of cannabis packaging seems like hemp - after all, there's something incredibly poetic about having your cannabis wrapped in the stem it was grown on - the reality is that hemp plastics have some logistical and developmental hurdles ahead. Currently, most hemp plastics contain 20 - 30% hemp, with the rest made up of either petroleum or other bioplastics. (The problem with other bioplastics is that they take quite a bit of water tin the manufacturing process.) While 100% hemp plastics exist, they are still a rarity. 

Glass is good to go, and has been for hundreds of years - the first glass bottle having been produced in 100 AD. Glass is universally recyclable across all provinces, and it's already the standard in for the alcoholic beverage industry. Ontario's 'Beer Store' has a widely praised recycling program for beer bottles that recaptures 96% of the containers sold, a seemingly impossible number in the world of recycling, but as it was 'baked in' to the customer experience, it became an easy and rewarding habit. Beer bottles are refilled an average of 12 times! 

Not only is glass universally recyclable, it's also just a way better way to preserve products. Beer bottles are always glass or metal because plastic is porous, allowing oxygen to quickly spoil the beer. Is it a coincidence that we're hearing a lot of reports about stale cannabis in plastic jars from the legal cannabis industry? There's an argument for cannabis producers to switch to glass based on product quality alone. Furthermore, there's a reason Beer bottles are usually brown or green: brewers noticed that UV light degrades the product pretty quickly, and they wanted to make sure that customers could enjoy their beverage at optimal flavour for as long as possible.

We'd like to see Miron ultraviolet glass as the 'brown beer bottle' of cannabis - it allows just enough light through so that the product doesn't start to get musty, while blocking out most of the UVA light rays that degrade and dry out your bud. Currently the only thing holding the industry back from using glass is regulations. If a Texas mickey of Wiser's doesn't need a childproof lid - why does my cannabis?
The News

We are delighted to present you this real news story. Believe it or not, this was not written by The Onion:
Mayor Herb Roach O'Fallon, Illinois has decided to ban the sale of recreational Marijuana. I mean, we probably don't need to go on, but he doubles down to say he's worried about the possible effects on the military personnel at the nearby base. Y'know, because the military is known as a fairly lax operation that allows that sort of thing. It would appear from his giant Tootsie Roll in his Facebook photo that Herb has absolutely zero capacity for irony.

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- Emma & Carol
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