The Ticker’s Craig Manning writes that Michigan has the second biggest cannabis market in the entire country, but the growth has brought waste and negative environmental impacts that a Michigan business is trying to solve:
“The cannabis industry is naturally a very environmentally-taxing business,” says Samuel Rosinski, the CEO of 42 Degrees, a Kalkaska-based company that offers a range of services around cannabis processing, extraction, packaging, distribution, and more. “With a lot of Michigan’s industry, the cannabis flower is typically cultivated in indoor facilities so that they can maintain consistent production year-round. And then the processing, packaging, and distribution of the product is also very taxing on the environment.”
Rosinski tells The Ticker he is “philosophically and morally opposed to environmental degradation” and has looked for opportunities since starting 42 Degrees to offset emissions and support environmental causes. “But we also wanted to do something that could meaningfully improve the industry in a way that consumers and businesses, along with government agencies, could get on board with,” he says. “That’s where The Hero Project came into being.”
The Hero Project is a fledgling initiative within 42 Degrees that carries an ambitious goal of creating a comprehensive recycling system for disposable cannabis vape pens, a category that Rosinski says is currently “growing at an incredible 36 percent, year over year.” Disposable vapes, he explains, are made up of three parts: a “chassis,” typically made from a dense plastic or a metal alloy; a “cartomizer,” or the metal or glass container within the chassis that actually holds the cannabis; and a lithium battery, which powers the device. Often, these materials end up in landfills simply because there is no good way to separate and recycle them. The goal of The Hero Project is to put systems in place so that customers not only have a place to recycle their old vapes, but also an incentive to do so.