A Compliant and Sustainable Way To Deal with Cannabis Waste

Micron Waste has developed a solution to help cannabis cultivators reduce the cost of handling cannabis waste in a compliant, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way. Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are denatured from the waste water, mitigating the risks of environmental liability. The plant waste is converted into clean water to be recycled back into cultivation operations or safely discharged into the sewer.

Current Issues

The growing demand for both medical and recreational marijuana will have major implications for the cannabis industry. Increasing regulations will likely be implemented to prevent cannabis smoke and residues (APIs) from affecting children, youth, and the environment. To reduce environmental liability, cannabis cultivators should implement sound practices for cannabis waste disposal.

Demand for Medical Marijuana is Growing Rapidly

The global demand for medical marijuana has grown substantially owing to legalization in several countries and increased recognition of the health benefits of marijuana. The US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, in its 400 page report in 2017, looked at more than 10,000 scientific studies and found strong evidence for the positive effects of cannabis on chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and some symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

In Canada, the number of people registered to purchase medical cannabis from licensed producers has skyrocketed since the federal commercial-access program was introduced in June 2013. The most recent statistics from Health Canada show that at the end of July 2017, over 200,000 Canadians had signed up with licensed cannabis producers. According to The Canada Cannabis Report: 2018 Industry Outlook, the total market size of medical marijuana is projected to grow by 40% per year from C$0.6 billion to C$2.31 billion by the end of 2021.

Trend in Legalization of Recreational Cannabis

Canada officially legalized the recreational use of cannabis in October 2018, the second country in the world to do so (after Uruguay).

In the United States, marijuana is legal in most states but the majority only permit its use for medical purposes. Recreational marijuana use is currently permitted in 10 U.S. states, and more states will likely move towards legalization as public support for marijuana has been increasing and is at its all-time high. According to a 2018 survey, over 60% of Americans now support marijuana legalization. This is almost double the number of supporters in 2000.

Strict Waste Disposal Regulations for Cannabis Cultivators

The growth of the cannabis industry poses another problem: managing the enormous volume of plant waste generated from cultivation. Licensed medical cannabis cultivators in both the United States and Canada are required to adhere to strict regulations regarding the disposal of cannabis waste. If the operation is close to a municipality, the cannabis producer needs to be aware of any conflict between their municipal bylaws and provincial or federal legislation.

Most cultivators have attempted composting as a method to handle cannabis plant waste; however, composting can take months and requires substantial space, space that could be better used growing additional cannabis plants. Due to a lack of waste management alternatives, most cannabis cultivators rely on the mixing of plant waste with other waste and hauling to landfills, where greenhouse gas emissions like methane are generated. However, the environmental liability does not stop there. The presence of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) in the waste could lead to regulatory and environmental compliance risks.

Solutions for the Cannabis Industry

The Cannavore™ is a turn-key mobile cannabis waste treatment that processes cannabis waste into water. The Cannavore™, sits directly on-site and produces clean potable water which can then be recycled, reused or safely discharged directly into the sewer.

How Micron Can Help

Through working with Micron, cannabis cultivators can benefit from:

Data-driven decision making

Micron provides 24/7 data reporting to comply with strict regulations associated with the treatment and disposal of cannabis waste.

Actionable insights

Micron transforms the data it collects into useful reports and insights, allowing cannabis cultivators to turn information into immediate operational improvements.

Scalable, sustainable solutions

The Cannavore™ is a clean technology solution that can help cannabis cultivators safely dispose of cannabis waste, destroying cannabinoids while saving money and time.

Reduced liability risk

The Cannavore™ meets regulatory requirements under Health Canada’s Cannabis Act and the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) D8245 standard - “New Guide for Disposal of Cannabis Raw Materials and Downstream Products Containing Resin”.

Cost savings

Our solution eliminates landfill tipping, hauling, and waste water discharge fees and reduces employee labour for waste management.


Aurora Cannabis

Micron is currently in partnership with Aurora Cannabis (TSX:ACB) to optimize Micron’s technology for the treatment of organic waste generated in the cultivation and production of cannabis products. Micron will install its technology at one of Aurora’s cultivation facilities, where both companies will collaborate on optimizing Micron’s digester technology to deliver a commercially-ready design specifically for the cannabis industry.


Quest Resource Management Group

Micron is currently working with Quest Resource Management Group LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of Quest Resource Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: QRHC), to provide innovative cannabis waste management solutions in the United States. Through this partnership, cannabis growers in the U.S. will have a regulatory-compliant, environmentally-sound alternative for processing production by-product – thousands of tons of pharmaceutical-laden cannabis waste.