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Maui Grown Therapies announced the introduction of new compostable packaging for its dispensary products. 

The state highly regulates the medical cannabis program and mandates dispensary packaging to be both childproof and opaque. Until now, dispensary representatives say that has meant mostly plastic bottles and jars.

The company’s new compostable packaging features tear opening, reclosable zipper and strength. Company representatives say that “Because the bags supply such an excellent oxygen and moisture barrier, cannabis flower can be safely kept in any cool, dry place at home or, for longer storage, in a freezer.”

Composed of bio-based materials, the packaging is free of bisphenol (including BPA and other derivatives) and phthalates. Compostable means the bag can break down into carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass in small pieces within about 90 days.

“For quite some time weʻve been searching for compliant, first-rate packaging that’s also environmentally responsible,” said Christopher Cole, Maui Grown’s Director of Product Development. “We finally found a product that protects both the plants’ bio-active compounds and the environment, with no additional cost to patients, so everyone wins.”

The rollout begins this week with smaller flower purchases and will increase over time as inventory of plastic packaging is exhausted. 

Bright grow lights, fans and powerful climate control systems sometimes operate for 24 hours a day, meaning that energy consumption per square foot of indoor cannabis cultivation is about ten times that of an average office. 

In 2016, when Maui Grown Therapies established its medical cannabis production center in Upcountry Maui, state law required licensees to grow indoors. That’s when the company decided to pursue an earth-friendly, “off-grid” solution.

Today, Maui Grown cultivates its medical crop using the power of the sun. An array of monocrystalline solar panels on its 8-acre campus converts sunshine into electricty for storage in lithium ion batteries.  After a law change, the company added a new greenhouse with a light transmiting roof, that has quadrupled yield since it opened in late 2019.

“To the best of our knowledge, Maui Grown Therapies operates the only carbon-neutral commercial-scale cannabis cultivation program in the nation,” added Christopher Cole. “We are very proud to be able to care for our patients and our island home at the same time. The new compostable packaging just adds to our efforts.”

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