When you think of the cannabis industry, you likely don’t think of the waste. As with any new industry, byproduct and waste are being generated in very large quantities.

The Problem

As more states legalize cannabis, more cannabis waste is produced.  In an interview with Waste 360, Garrett Rodewald, GAIACA’s COO, explains, “It is estimated that for every pound of finished cultivated product, there is at least one pound of waste generated. Our average clients produce anywhere from 100-1,000 pounds of waste per week.” And that’s only taking into consideration cultivation waste. Every vertical within the cannabis industry produces cannabis waste and that gets tricky. Complying with regulations while also abiding by environmental standards seems near impossible to achieve for many operators.

What exactly is cannabis waste? It is far more than stems and seeds. We’ve written about it before. Cannabis waste varies by industry vertical. It includes, but is certainly not limited to:

  • Anything above the soil line
  • Oils
  • Extracts
  • Non-compliant edibles
  • Products that have failed to test
  • Solvents
  • Used vape cartridges
  • Contaminated disposables


Cannabis Waste Solution

GAIACA is California’s first properly licensed cannabis waste management company that helps manage all forms of cannabis byproduct created by cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, testing labs, and distributors. GAIACA handles all cannabis waste per State regulations, ensuring that operators can focus on what they do best by allowing them to compliantly manage their cannabis waste. GAIACA works hard to ensure that cannabis waste does not add to pervasive waste issues, and diverts 90% of all cannabis waste away from landfills. GAIACA collects all waste products from clients and properly disposes of it so that there are minimal environmental consequences. GAIACA brings the cycle full circle.    


Contributed by Olivia Quadros

Olivia is a senior at CSU Monterey Bay and is studying International Business.