Whether we like to admit it or not, the cannabis industry creates an awful lot of waste. Millions of units of products are sold throughout North America annually, with the vast majority packaged in single-use plastic, often due to regulations.
Labeling requirements, child safety protocols, and tamper-proof seals make for fairly hefty containers in most markets. These jars and mylar bags are typically destined to reside in landfills, despite the conscious efforts of many consumers to place what they can in the recycling bin.
Moxie is a brand on a mission to help combat the growing garbage issue within the industry. Currently available in seven states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, this Long Beach, CA-based business is changing the game in terms of its environmental impact.
And while sustainability certainly comes at a higher cost, the team at Moxie is committed to going the extra mile while maintaining an affordable price point for consumers — even if it puts them in the red.
“We’ll always put what’s right before revenue,” said Tessa Adams, Moxie’s chief marketing officer.
From eco-friendly packaging to energy-efficient lighting in their cultivation facilities, this brand is setting a high bar when it comes to putting the planet first.
Ambitious Environmental Plans Put Moxie Miles Ahead
Established in 2014, Moxie was founded with the belief that cannabis can benefit our society in more ways than one. “Cannabis is all about helping people,” Adams said. “Additionally, we have to help the world become the best place that it can possibly be.”
Their high-quality products (including flower, concentrates, vape pens, and later, edibles) combined with a social justice focus helped the brand quickly rise to prominence. The company soon expanded into Michigan and Nevada and not long after, Moxie became the very first licensed cannabis business in its home state of California.
By 2020, the brand launched its sustainability initiative, announcing its intentions to become the first carbon-negative cannabis company. Moxie soon switched nearly all of its outer packaging to paperboard that is 100% recyclable, Forest Stewardship Council-certified, and chlorine-free. Labels are made from biodegradable grass paper.
The move to more environmentally-friendly packaging was an expensive one. And in an industry where margins are already razor-thin, the team at Moxie knew they were facing an uphill battle with their budget. However, as Adams pointed out earlier, it’s all about doing what’s right no matter the cost.
“We’re looking at our future, we’re looking at our children’s future, and we’re questioning what’s going to happen,” she said. “And so for us, it is imperative that we preserve a future for the rest of the world.”
Additional Eco-Friendly Practices Expand on Sustainability Initiative
Despite the enormous undertaking of converting to greener packaging, Moxie isn’t done there. The brand is collaborating with waste management providers to help further offset refuse created in production facilities and convert it to usable energy. This can include everything from break-room trash to used shipping supplies.
The company has also installed LED lights in its indoor cultivation operations and is establishing an outdoor grow for extraction source material in an effort to better control the supply chain.
“That’s going to be huge for us, getting the outdoor grow. It’s definitely going to help offset some of our emissions,” Adams said. “We’ve always sourced our material, and we’ve tried to source from sustainable farms, but we have always wanted our own so that we can create that sustainability effort ourselves.”
Adams also hinted at soon-to-be-announced partnerships in multiple markets with similarly aligned companies in order to further boost their environmental efforts.
“It’s our duty as an industry to protect the earth as best we can. We want to work with as many other companies as possible to figure out ways that we all can be better. I think that’s the way that we can really affect change.”
Community Building Rounds Out Moxie’s Mission
As Adams previously said, cannabis is about helping people — and the world.
In addition to their ambitious environmental pledge, Moxie engages with several non-profit organizations to maximize their impact, supporting causes such as homeless youth, breast cancer research, and low-income medical cannabis patients.
The company has also partnered with the Last Prisoner Project to help promote restorative justice and right the wrongs of the war on drugs.
For the team at Moxie, it all comes down to being stewards of goodwill and setting an example for other operators to encourage them to go above and beyond.
“It’s up to us to pave the way as an industry and act as leaders in order to help solve some of the problems our planet is currently facing,” Adams said. “And we won’t have anything if we don’t protect the earth that we live on.”