Washington lawmakers consider allowing cannabis waste to be used in ‘hempcrete,’ other goods

The measure is intended to divert the waste from landfills.

Washington state lawmakers recently approved a bill to let marijuana companies sell their bio-waste for non-intoxicating commercial purposes,  such as “hempcrete,” a slang term for construction bricks made from cannabis fibers.

The measure, Senate Bill 5376, would allow licensed marijuana growers to sell leftover marijuana plant product with 0.3% THC or less – such as the stalks, stems, and leaves of cannabis plants – to the public, where it could be converted into various commercial uses including hempcrete, clothing, rope, animal bedding, or other textiles, The Spokesman-Review reported. The discarded cannabis waste could also be composted.

The aim is to divert cannabis waste from going into landfills, where it decomposes and produces methane gas, contributing further to climate change, The Spokesman-Review reported.

One advocate of the bill, Heather Trim of Zero Waste Washington, estimated that the roughly 1,000 cannabis growers in the state produce between 500 and 1,000 pounds of cannabis waste each week during the height of cultivation season.

If Gov. Jay Inslee signs the bill into law, growers would still be prohibited from selling any bio-waste that could be contaminated with pesticides or other potentially dangerous chemicals, but would be allowed to sell immense amounts of green waste as long as they register each sale with the state and identify purchasers.

The move could also save cannabis growers significantly on the back end, since many pay waste removal companies hundreds of dollars per pickup to simply get rid of their cannabis bio-waste.

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