Renewable Energy and CleanTech In The Cannabis Industry

close up photo of person holding cannabis

According to Newswire, the global cannabis market is estimated to be valued at USD 20.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 90.4 billion by 2026, recording a CAGR of 28%, in terms of value. As states continue to legalize cannabis, legal corporations are jumping at the opportunity to build a green business and grow a profit. In addition to that, people are embracing cannabis as a normal part of our culture and lifestyle, as well as embracing sustainable companies. Going Green had the opportunity to sit down with Amber Shealy, Co-President of Cannabis@USC to learn more about the future of the sustainable cannabis industry

Amber, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background: 

Cannabis@USC (formerly known as Cannaclub USC) is an organization for students, by students leading the cannabis movement through social innovation, interdisciplinary research, and entrepreneurship. Cannabis@USC has recently rebranded in order to focus more on our USC community. We work in collaboration with the Cannabis Law Society at USC, The Marshall Cannabis Association at USC, and many companies in order to provide the most value to our members.

What is a fun fact about you?

Cannabis@USC has a mix of formal and informal events! We hold a “Friday night grind sesh” for anyone interested in chatting with the e-board, working on projects, or getting more involved. Cannabis@USC accepts students from a broad range of majors from acting to biomedical engineering!

Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today? 

Climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today because we are getting close to the point of no return for our planet. Rules like 280e is a detrimental set back to the sustainability of the cannabis industry. Companies are spending more on non environmentally friendly packaging and manufacturing processes in order to save money by writing more off in cost of goods sold to get the tax write-off under 280e. If the government doesn’t incentivize sustainability financially, companies will likely choose the alternative of saving money regardless of environmental impact.

What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?

In 10 years, our hope for the industry is that cannabis will be federally legal. At that point, cannabis companies will be able to operate in a more sustainable manner. Schools will also hopefully have more streamlined recruiting processes and career fairs for students interested in the cannabis industry. Another hope is that schools like USC will have cannabis curriculum and professors who are well versed in the industry.

What can the average person do to make a difference? 

The average person can make a difference by raising awareness and making their beliefs heard. One of Cannabis@USC’s goals is to connect students with their respective interests within the cannabis industry so they can make a difference and be at the forefront of change within the industry.

Amber, thank you for taking time to share more about Cannabis@USC and the future of sustainable cannabis.

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