The cannabis industry has waited decades for the opportunity to engage in legal commerce, and now that it’s a reality, there is a responsibility to change the perception of consumers. A collection of forty-five corporate marijuana companies from the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Israel recently formed the Global Cannabis Partnership to promote sustainability, and ethical business practices worldwide.
Now that the industry is growing at such a rapid rate, it’s important that large cannabis corporations avoid some of the moral pitfalls found in other mainstream industries. The Global Cannabis Partnership is a collaborative effort from marijuana’s biggest players designed to minimize environmental harm, encourage local cannabis compliance, and uphold ethical sales standards.
Some notable members of the Global Cannabis Partnership include California’s Cannadescent, and Canada’s Canopy Growth and Aphria. In agreeing to be part of this movement, a Social Responsibility Framework document was drafted to lay out the four core principles of this partnership. Responsibility, collaboration, transparency, and continuous improvement are at the heart of their mission.
Additionally, the framework specifies areas of impact that the Global Cannabis Partnership will seek to improve. Among these areas of impact are agricultural practices, compliant a sustainable packaging, product safety, research, and social justice. Author of the Social Responsibility Framework, Rick Petersen pointed out that “This is the first time that I can think of where an industry’s decided to get corporate social responsibility right out of the gate.”
As co-founder of the Global Cannabis Partnership, Peterson’s thesis statement makes clear it’s mission for the future of the industry. “Driving this initiative is a shared commitment with governments, community groups, and other stakeholders to keep cannabis out of the hands of youth, keep profits out of the hands of criminals, and protect public health and safety by allowing adults access to legal cannabis. We are also very conscious that our industry, like others, has a significant environmental footprint, and we are committed to minimizing this impact throughout our supply chain.”
The legal marijuana industry has a unique opportunity to prove to the world that engaging in commerce doesn’t have to result in negative or damaging repercussions. In its infancy, the cannabis industry has had some setbacks in terms of illegal sale, product contamination, altering inventory, and unregulated waste disposal. The corporate companies are leading the way but whether or not the industry at large will adopt these practices remains to be seen.
Read the entire Social Responsibility Framework document at the Global Cannabis Partnership website. Hopefully, this new corporate cannabis partnership can put pressure on business to elevate their conscience and embrace sustainable and ethical practices.