Why You Can’t Dispose Your Cannabis Waste With Regular Trash

We frequently come across cannabis business owners asking us why they can’t dispose of their cannabis waste like regular trash. The easy answer is: “It’s the law”. But that’s not a satisfactory response to many of you and for good reason. There are two main reasons why the State of California has decided to introduce a new set of regulations that require licensees to dispose their cannabis waste separately.


Avoiding Cannabis Leftover Theft

According to the State there is a growing concern that people are easily able to access leftover trimmings and other cannabis related material that can be smoked. For the majority of dispensaries, labs, and cultivators your trash is tossed into the dumpster at the end of the day.

This makes it accessible to people attempting to illegally smoke marijuana. It’s not something you think would be likely, but it’s not unheard of either. The State of California wants to remove this possibility completely.

In fact, we recently spoke to a dispensary that has experienced leftover theft. Despite their efforts to keep the dumpster locked, people would always find a way to break into it. They must have some good herb!


Cannabis Waste Track and Trace

Since marijuana is now recreational in the State of California there will be an increased volume of marijuana sales. Officials want to keep an eye on cannabis businesses to make sure that nobody is doing anything under the table. Regulating cannabis waste is just one method of tracking.

Your cannabis waste has to now be weighed at the time of hauling and disposing. This is to ensure cannabis businesses don’t just “lose” any cannabis products. It’s also a way to match the volume your business has purchased and sold/unsold.


In summary

if you engage in any business related to cannabis you must have a proper waste management system in place. You cannot dispose your cannabis waste like regular trash. Your trash companies could also find themselves in trouble by handling waste that is now required to be tracked and recorded.

All cannabis waste must be kept in a secured receptacle on the licensees premises. The cannabis waste receptacle must only be accessible to the licensee, staff, and a cannabis hauling agency.

View the Bureau of Cannabis Control State Regulations on Cannabis Waste

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