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Recycling Cannabis Plastic Waste – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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Recycling cannabis plastic waste doesn’t necessarily happen. You might think you’re recycling that wasteful plastic container by throwing it in a blue bin. But most cannabis containers are low-grade plastic waste. Odds are, this plastic will end up in a landfill or head overseas where it’s incinerated.

But one Edmonton man is putting an end to that.

When covid lockdowns sent Corey Saban home from work, the father of three realized how much plastic his family went through. He decided to do something about it and started a recycling company out of his garage.

“I really just started experimenting with single-use grocery bags in my garage with a griddle you make pancakes on and an iron that you iron your clothes with,” says Saban.

Introducing [Re] Waste

While still in his garage, Saban landed a contract with the city of Beaumont to recycle the city’s residential plastic waste. “That’s when a few news stations like CBC, CTV, and Global picked up our story,” says Saban.

After some media attention, the cannabis industry got involved.

Saban has partnered with two Canadian cannabis retailers. Nova Cannabis, the parent company of Value Buds, and High Tide, the parent company of Canna Cabana. Both companies are the largest retailers in the country.

“I told them,” says Saban, “I’m pretty straightforward; I just said I’m still in my garage. I’d love to move out and be able to manage all your stores and continue to grow with you. So it’ll take a little on my end to get up and running, but if you’re okay with that, then we can definitely look at launching a program.”

Months later, Saban was out of the garage and over by the Edmonton International Airport with a facility of his own and four full-time employees. “At the start, it was like “there’s no way we’re ever going to exceed a team of three people,” and that was quickly exceeded. And then with the space that we had, we were like “we’re never going to outgrow this, there’s no way,” and now we’ve outgrown that space.”

Recycling Cannabis Plastic Waste

[Re] Waste works with cannabis retailers to develop customized solutions to their plastic waste. Saban will ask, “How can we repurpose plastic waste to make it useful in your industry or that you can use in your business?” For cannabis retailers, the answers range from shelving to display cases to consumption accessories.
[Re] Waste is behind the “canna bin,” a collection bin made from 100% recycled cannabis containers. By collecting unwanted cannabis containers, Saban hopes to keep plastics out of the landfills.

He says one major problem is that many cannabis plastics are low-grade plastics. And the supply chain isn’t equipped for recycled plastics.

“If you look at mass manufacturers that are producing millions of units of plastic products, they need a very consistent plastic which is most often virgin plastic pellets. So now, when you work with recycled pellets, it’s a little more complicated. There’s not as much consistency as virgin plastic. In the supply chain, recycled plastics are hard to work with.”

Recycling Cannabis Plastic Waste
The Canna Bin

Consumers Want To Recycle Cannabis Plastic Waste

Most, if not all, cannabis consumers are annoyed at the amount of plastic waste the legal industry has brought. It’s clear consumers want a better solution. Recycling cannabis plastic waste is a top concern. “We’re starting to see how customers vote with their dollars,” says Saban.

“It’s interesting just being in the cannabis space… consumers are so passionate about the environment, and their voice is heard because it’s such a new industry, and there’s so many of them. So it’s really the consumers that are going to the retailers to say, “I have a bag full of plastic waste that I know is just going into the landfill. I need you to help me out. I need you to do something.” So it’s really the retailers that are starting to listen to the customers. They just want their plastic waste handled better than the existing options.”

In the first year of legalization, Canada’s cannabis industry generated 6.4 million kilograms of plastic packaging waste.

Working with Goodwill

Recycling cannabis plastic waste isn’t just helping the environment. They’re giving back to the community as well. Saban has been working with Goodwill by participating in their careers connection program.

“We work with Goodwill to provide those with different abilities with opportunities for employment. We have four amazing volunteers right now through the career connection program. And specifically, what we have these volunteers doing is removing the seals from all the cannabis lids. It’s not like paper. It’s really on there, we have them remove the seals from the lids, and then we can take that and go right into our processing. So they are very involved with the success of our cannabis program.”

[RE] Waste also works with Goodwill to reduce its plastic waste. [Re] Work repurposes the plastic into building materials like countertops and trim.

Look for a canna bin at your local cannabis shop today! 





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Germany Speeding Up Legalization Process – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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Germany appears to be speeding up its legalization process. Finance Minister Christian Lindner tweeted cannabis will be legal “soon.” Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said there are a lot of technical details to work out, which are supposed to start this summer. Expect a draft legalization bill sometime before the end of the year.

The Germans plan to involve as many players as possible. The government wants coordination with federal states, municipalities, bureaucrats, medical personnel, and civil society associations before making any moves.

But this is a case of too many cooks in the kitchen? Or an attempt at speeding up the legalization process?

Is Germany Speeding Up the Legalization Process?

The German federal government first announced it would legalize cannabis in November 2021. But since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, speeding up the legalization process has not been a top priority for the coalition government.

As far as the details go, there aren’t many. The government said it supports home cultivation. But they also said the government would regulate cannabis sales through licensed stores. No one has any other information regarding the regulations. Will there be THC limits on the products? What about bans on certain products, like edibles? And what about home cultivation? Is that a guarantee?

“It’s tough to say right now,” says Nawan Butt, Portfolio Manager at Purpose Investments. “We haven’t really seen any first draft of the bill itself. I would say, expect something that is much more aligned with the regulations around Germany’s current medical market.”

Germany legalized medical cannabis in 2017 and has since become the most prominent medical cannabis market in Europe.

A Legal German Cannabis Market 

Speeding Up Legalization Process

When it comes to cannabis, German lawmakers sound like the Canadians. Keep it out of the hands of children and subvert the black market. The University of Düsseldorf suggested that legal recreational cannabis could bring in over $5.3 billion in tax revenue and create 27,000 direct jobs in the industry.

But suppose the German’s speeding up of the legalization process consists of rushing it. In that case, they could end up with the same problems as Canadian cannabis. Namely, expensive, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. Products that have trouble competing with the legacy market.

So far, the German playbook seems to be borrowing from the Canadians. Cannovum AG is a large publicly traded medical cannabis company in Germany. Licensed as a pharmaceutical manufacturer and wholesaler and listed on the Düsseldorf Stock Exchange.

The German company Cansativa is the sole distributor of all cannabis grown in Germany.

Germany also imports a lot of its medical cannabis. In 2020, they imported nearly 10,000 kg from the Netherlands and Canada. However, recently, Germany has been importing cannabis from Israel, Portugal, Spain, and Uruguay.

Excitement from Speeding Up the Legalization Process 

If Germany introduces a draft bill by the end of this year, that could mean German legal cannabis by next summer.

“There’s a lot of people very, very excited,” says Nawan. “We’re also very excited taking a look at how regulations form, how their structure is going to work. Whether Germany is going to be protectionist, like a lot of cannabis jurisdictions have been historically and only allow for domestic cultivation. Or whether they took a look at it on a global basis and have an international program. So lots of curiosities around it.”

Whether Germany speeds up its legalization process or plays around with draft bills indefinitely remains to be seen. However, when Germany does legalize it, it will be a game-changer.

“This is a G7 country,” says Nawan. “Germany is a big market, about 80 million people. This is going to be the first larger European country to legalize adult-use cannabis,” says Nawan. “We’ve very excited about that.”

Footnote(s)

https://www.dice.hhu.de/startseitennews/studie-cannabislegalisierung-bringt-dem-staat-jaehrlich-47-milliarden-euro-rund-27000-legale-arbeitsplaetze-wuerden-entstehen
https://twitter.com/c_lindner/status/1522545923913564165





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Tryptophan metabolites found in cannabis

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From the Italian scientists who first found THCp and CDBh in cannabis plants comes another discovery. Researchers discovered tryptophan and its active metabolites, including l-kynurenine acid and kynurenic acid, in cannabis. (1) Anyone who remembers the sleepy feeling after Thanksgiving turkey will understand the sedative effect of tryptophan, at least.

Cannabinoids and terpenes are two big classes of active compounds in cannabis. And cannabinoids are a special type of terpenoid. Beyond the terps exists several other groups of important molecules including flavonoids and esters. Less discussed, is the composition of amino acids in cannabis plants.

Tryptophan is found in various foods, but unlike cannabis, plants rarely metabolize the amino acid to KYN or KYNa.

Parmesan cheese and turkey are good sources of the amino acid — tryptophan. As it turns out, cannabis appears to be a richer source of this amino acid and its metabolites, l-kynurenine (KYN) and kynurenic acid (KYNa). Importantly, the latter of the two facilitates therapeutic properties. Therefore, the first discovery of tryptophan and it’s metabolites in cannabis plants delves into the secrets of the entourage (or ensemble) theory for edibles.

Adding to this, serotonin but also melatonin are products of tryptophan. Melatonin production is what causes food rich in tryptophan, including hemp and cannabis leaves, to encourage better sleep.

In the leaves — cannabis growth conditions and tryptophan

Leaves were consistently more potent with amino acids relative to roots and stems, (1) which is not the same case for triterpenes. (2) Research funded by the Italian Ministry found further deep variations in the potency of tryptophan dependent on growth conditions. Yet, soil-grown and hydroponic cannabis cultivations both had remarkable amounts of tryptophan’s two metabolites — KYN and KYNa. (1)

Animals cannot synthesize tryptophan and require plants to acquire it. At the same time, plants poorly break the amino acid down to KYN or KYNa. Instead, plants tend to absorb the metabolites through their roots from soil microbes. For this reason, the quantity of KYN and KYNa in cannabis was considered unprecedented in the study funded by The Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research.

In plants, KNY and KYNa might have protective properties against certain toxins. For humans, though, the metabolites have been shown to possess protective properties for the brain and heart. Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects might be involved with it’s protective functions. Beyond this, tryptophan metabolites have great potential for regulating lipids and attenuating obesity.

Let us know in the comments if you think the Italian researchers should be allowed to analyze tryptophan in cannabis flowers next. And stay tuned to learn more about the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis root extract next week.

Show their work

  • The researchers cultivated plants into early and late vegetative stage from certified hemp seeds using strict growing procedures for the hydroponic experiment.
  • Hemp samples from open-field cultivations were collected for the soil-grown test.
  • Tryptophan and it’s metabolites are polar compounds, which the researchers employed standard techniques for extraction.
  • Extracts of hemp samples were analyzed using Ultra-high-preformance-liquid-chromatography in conjunction with an Ultra-High-Resolution-Mass Spectrometer.

Sources

  1. Russo F, Tolomeo F, Vandelli MA, et al. Kynurenine and kynurenic acid: Two human neuromodulators found in Cannabis sativa L. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2022;211:114636. doi:10.1016/j.jpba.2022.114636
  2. Kim YN, Sim KS, Park S, Sohn HY, Kim T, Kim JH. In Vitro and In Vivo Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Cannabis sativa Stem Extract. J Med Food. 2022;25(4):408-417. doi:10.1089/jmf.2021.K.0200





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If Hashcoins Were Real, Would Inflation Exist? – Cannabis News, Lifestyle

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If you’re a fan of the show Trailer Park Boys, odds are you’ve heard of hashcoins. In the show, one of the main characters presses his hash into circular coin-like objects and uses them as a currency in the local economy. It’s a funny take on a small-time cannabis grower who’s always short on cash but flush with weed. But the broader implications are fascinating. Suppose “hashcoins” were real. Would inflation exist? How does one have “hashcoin inflation” if hashcoins emerge as free-market money?

What is Inflation?

Inflation used to mean an increase in the money supply. Now it means a general rise in prices. Banks and governments create inflation, but now it’s assumed to be a natural part of the market economy. And when central banks let inflation get out of control, like our current situation, they blame the Russians.

Central banks engage in “inflation targeting,” which is their way of inflating the currency without causing a drastic rise in prices. It’s part of the illusion that inflation is a naturally occurring economic aspect. That the central bank acts as a custodian.

As if inflation was a bear out of his cage at the zoo. And central bankers were the zookeepers enticing him back to the compound. Of course, prices aren’t supposed to rise in a free-market economy, even at 2% a year. The bear isn’t ever to leave his cage. But central bankers leave the cell unlocked and the door open and tell people this is business as usual.

Marginal Utility  Explains Hashcoin Inflation

hashcoin inflation

Why do some goods cost more than others? Why are THC beverages more expensive than flower? Supply and demand are the easy answers. Diminishing marginal utility is the more technical one.

The best way to explain it is by thinking of your satisfaction with cannabis products. Say, one gram of Blue Dream. Your happiness from consuming a second gram may not be as great as the first gram. Your satisfaction from the third gram is likely to diminish further. And so on with the fourth and fifth, and sixth gram.

The more of a good we consume in a given period, the less satisfaction or utility we get from each addition or marginal unit.

So your enjoyment of Blue Dream may fade over time. You’ll want to try something new. But not only that, the price you’re willing to pay for one gram of Blue Dream also declines.

Mainstream economists calculate marginal utility as an objective property that they can measure. In reality, your value of cannabis products is entirely subjective to you. You may find someone who has the same preferences as you regarding one gram of Blue Dream. But there is no “utility” that economists can study like one studies chemistry or physics.

Furthermore, marginal utility can apply to money in addition to supply and demand. This is how hashcoin inflation could occur.

Inflation in the Cannabis Industry

Currently, Canadian cannabis isn’t experiencing higher prices. While the country faces record-high inflation rates, cannabis products have either stayed constant or gotten cheaper. There are many factors for this. 

One, cannabis retailers are trying to compete with the legacy market, so they’re willing to take a dip in their margins to stay open. Two, large LPs are selling their cannabis at a loss to starve out the competition.

For these reasons, cannabis prices haven’t skyrocketed like other prices in the economy. And because mainstream economists (and the press) define inflation as a general rise in prices rather than an increase of the money supply, they erroneously say there’s no inflation in the cannabis industry.

But this is a fallacy. Inflation is the creation of money. When new money gets created, the purchasing power of the existing money falls. And it isn’t uniform across the economy. The inflation of the last twenty years has found its way into real estate while leaving other goods relatively untouched.

But now, inflation from the government’s COVID response is causing the price of food and fuel to rise. Since everyone has different values and, therefore, different utility rankings, how inflation impacts the economy will be nuanced.

The general “price level” economists refer to is a statistical construct. Numbers influenced by institutional interests. In other words, a lot of economic statisticians aren’t doing science. They’re performing astrology for politicians and providing cover for the banks.

A Brief History of Inflation

hashcoin inflation

To understand how hashcoin inflation could be a thing, we’ll have to turn briefly to the origins of money. Money goes back thousands of years. No one invented it; money emerged from the spontaneous actions of human beings. Barter could only take us so far. But people liked how shiny and durable gold and silver were. Easily transportable too. 

Eventually, gold and silver became a medium of exchange. Like how radio is a medium for music or the Internet is a medium for streaming movies. Money is the medium used by people trading goods and services.

Fast-forward to modern times, and money is no longer gold or silver. Throughout the 20th century, governments and banks slowly but surely disconnected society’s medium of exchange from a commodity that was scarce and subject to the laws of supply and demand.

But there is no escaping the laws of marginal utility. That’s why cryptocurrencies have become all the rage. They are digitally scarce and subject to supply and demand. That makes them stores of value, like gold or silver. 

In contrast, dollars are pieces of paper printed infinitely. And those who get their hands on the new dollars first have greater purchasing power than those who get their hands on the new dollars last. Typically, this works out so that banks reap the rewards while seniors on fixed incomes struggle to pay the bills.

A Hashcoin Economy – Does Inflation Exist?

Commodity-based monies, like hashcoins, are not only a hedge against inflation but a powerful tool against the elites. What greater power is there for the masses than the ability to withdraw their financial support from institutions that have become corrupt?

This is where hashcoins come in. One cannot print hash; it requires time, energy and resources to produce. To create more money, one has to spend money. This is what makes cryptocurrencies work. Spent time, energy and resources “mining” cryptos ground them to the market economy.

In contrast, central bankers punch numbers onto a computer screen, and without any effort, they create more money. Their profit is costless. When done this way, money creation is inflationary. It isn’t adding to the economy, and it’s stealing your purchasing power. Inflation is nothing but a hidden tax—legalized counterfeiting. And just because something is legal doesn’t make it lawful.

Hashcoin Inflation?

hashcoin inflation

Let’s say the world economy went on a hashcoin standard. Would inflation still exist?

To answer, we have to return to 16th century Spain. The Spanish sent ships to the New World that returned with an influx of gold and silver. While sending ships across the Atlantic 500 years ago required time, energy and resources – the amount of gold brought back more than tripled their initial investment.

Our hashcoin equivalent would be finding an abandoned storage garage filled to the brim with bricks of hash. All one would need to do is press them into coins, and suddenly they’re wealthy with minimal effort.

So what happened in Spain? First, they were rich. But by the end of the 17th century, prices had adjusted to account for this influx of gold. It was a temporary advantage. In a free-market economy, it’s not the money itself that is valuable but what it can buy.

In Conclusion

Hashcoin inflation is possible. But it’d be nothing like what we experience today. Inflation in the cannabis industry exists because inflation exists throughout the entire economy. Since the First World War, there’s been a systemic debasement of money’s purchasing power. It’s no coincidence the century of inflation corresponds with the century of big government and never-ending wars.

Rising prices haven’t reached the cannabis sector for several reasons. But, as cannabis products get priced in dollars, the price per gram doesn’t necessarily have to rise to show inflation. If your income is losing its purchasing power, prices can remain the same. The price itself isn’t that important. It’s how much your money can buy.





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