BY Melany Dobson – The NYCGPA recently established a Sustainability Committee, and appointed myself and Brittany Carbone as co-chairs. I am a cofounder and chief product officer at Hudson Hemp, where I lead product innovation. In my previous role with Humboldt Brothers, a Northern California based cannabis company, I gained expertise in local regulation and state legislature; and as co-founder and COO of People Need People, a temporary cannabis labor firm, I designed plant-to-product systems, managing more than 40 contracted laborers. 

In line with Hudson Hemp’s “Sustainability is Good. Regeneration is Forever” philosophy, I see regenerative practices and growing hemp as a way to return value to our earth within the agricultural and industrial system. The New York cannabis industry has a responsibility to incentivize environmentally and socially sustainable practices. Regenerative standards will build the foundation for the continual use of precious resources. 

In 2019, New York passed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act). We have the opportunity to leverage the data and knowledge base of other states where legalization has taken place, to drive a sustainable culture around cannabis in New York. New York State’s Climate Act is among the most ambitious climate laws in the world and requires New York to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and no less than 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels. This provides us with a framework for regulating incentives to make the New York cannabis industry a part of the climate solution. 

We believe that building sustainability into the foundational framework of New York’s cannabis policy and operational infrastructure ensures the long term viability of a resource-heavy industry by providing a set of standards that prioritizes, facilitates, and incentivizes the adoption of sustainable practices at every stage of the supply chain. The NYCGPA sustainability committee serves to inform and shape policy that aligns stakeholder interest with environmental consciousness in order to build a future-focused industry that puts people and planet before profit.