Cannabis Professionals Are Tackling the Industry's Big Issues

The responsible professionals building the cannabis industry are not dodging the social issues inherent with the normalization of marijuana.
Cannabis Professionals Are Tackling the Industry's Big Issues
Image credit: The Cannabiz Agency | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Founder and CEO
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The cannabis industry has been described as the "Wild West" but the fact is cannabis, and the products supporting its use, create opportunities for mainstream businesses in Canada and the US. Altria and Constellation Brands are two examples of the big brands jumping into cannabis with billions of dollars to spend on bringing new vaping, edible and paraphernalia products to market.

While most of the news and discussion about cannabis focuses on consumables, the responsible professionals building the cannabis industry are anticipating social issues that arise with normalization and proactively developing solutions.

Related: NFL Considers Options for Medical Use of Marijuana

Smoke gets in my eyes.

Cannabis vaping and use of e-cigarettes are increasing and people who vape (and smoke) are getting push back from people who don't. It ranges from being sent outside to enjoy their vape to dirty looks on the street when they exhale. At the same time, adults are allowed to choose for themselves whether to vape e-cigarettes or cannabis starting at ages 18 and 21, respectively.

One company believes vaping does not have to impact the environment or other people. PHILTER™Labs, Inc is giving responsible adults the choice to vape in a traditional manner and to filter emission clouds based on a particular environment. Philter recently debuted the world’s first 4” x ½” dual-function filter developed by medical device experts with more than 20 years of experience. Philter’s first-of-a-kind technology lets responsible adults partake in universally acceptable vaping behavior.

Personal rights and personal choice to vape or not to vape are essential in a polite society.

Related: Harvest Buys Verano to Solidify Market Position Post-Prohibition (Whenever That Happens)

Mother Nature thanks you.

As a fast-growing channel for both the cannabis and nicotine markets, the vape market creates mountains of waste. From the consumer-focused packaging, to the vaporizer battery and pods, the amount of refuse generated is profound. Cannabis activist Katie Stone, says “Responsible recycling is necessary in the cannabis industry and, frankly it’s the right thing to do.”

What works in other industries can be used as a blueprints for similar cannabis recycling programs. TerraCycle, known for recycling the unrecyclable, is geared to putting an end to the waste, one cartridge, vape pen, childproof bag at a time. Unfortunately, it is illegal to re-use the cannabis-holding portions of vape pens, however the materials that make up a vape pen -- from plastics to electronics and batteries -- can be recycled.

Related: We Need to Clear the Smoke About Cannabis in the Workplace

Sexist advertising doesn’t cut it.

As this newly legal industry develops, please don’t think that it will accept girls in thongs and half shirts in our advertising (as the beer industry did in the 90s ), or women in skin tight dresses at our trade shows (as auto shows still do) or women objectified in any other form.

Organizations are being created daily to promote women in this industry. Kyra Reed, leader of Women Entrepreneurs in Cannabis, started a movement three years ago with the sole purpose to support women in this industry. The momentum of her #BetterTogether movement hasn’t slowed down.

Related: We Have a Problem: The Cannabis Industry Is Losing Women Leaders

Learning from the past.

The cannabis industry has been compared to the wine/beer industry, but we’re smart enough today to learn from the past and make the future better. Cannabis and ancillary businesses are not just looking for opportunities to provide what the Wild West provided-gold and the pick and shovel, they are looking to the future to solve what happens after the entire industry regulates.

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