Governor Gavin Newsom signs SB 622, a CannaCraft-sponsored bill, which will work to reduce plastic waste in the California cannabis industry.
Detailed in a recent emailed press release, California’s cannabis industry just became a little bit greener through the passing of Senate Bill 622 (SB 622). The newly enacted piece of legislation was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom and will help reduce plastic waste by getting rid of the requirement which mandated licensed cannabis cultivators to use a single-use plastic tag on each individual plant. The bill was sponsored by CannaCraft, a Northern California-based cannabis company, and Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica).
In June 2022, an opinion article was published by Project CBD, an educational non-profit, called, “Bag the Tags! California’s Eco-Absurdity” (1), highlighted the wasteful practices, policies, and regulations, cannabis cultivators were having to follow. The piece was authored by Tiffany Devitt, head of Regulatory Affairs for CannaCraft and March and Ash, as well as board member of the California Cannabis Industry Association. Devitt mentioned that by revising the single-use tag policy, California could potentially get rid of several hundred thousand pounds of plastic waste every year and create more sustainable guidelines other states across the US could follow.
Chair of the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee, Senator Ben Allen, has been a longtime advocate on environmental sustainability and climate change policy. He previously championed Senate Bill 54, which required manufacturers of single-use packaging and food service ware to manage and recycle the products introduced into the commercial market.
"Beyond environmental and financial impacts for our local governments, plastic products have become a public health hazard such that we are finding microplastics in bloodstreams. We should act responsibly to curb the unnecessary use of plastics where possible,” said Senator Allen, who chairs the Senate Environmental Quality Committee. “As the cannabis industry continues to develop in California, it is critical that we support sustainability as a pillar of its growth. SB 622 aims to do just that, and I thank Governor Newsom for signing this common-sense measure.”
Additionally Devitt mentioned, “Over the past 5 years, the state has used between 200 and 250 million plant tags generating over 1 million pounds of plastic waste. The price tag on that waste: The state of California spends about $15 million per year buying these tags and providing them to cannabis farms. The biggest tragedy here is that those tags did nothing to prevent diversion, which was the stated intent.”
By passing SB 622, the Department of Cannabis Control will have more flexibility on how to regulate the tracking of cannabis plants so that inspectors can enforce compliance with cultivators and prevent wasteful use of single-use plastics.