With sustainability on the front of everyone’s mind these days, the idea of a cleaner can’t escape the cannabis industry. That noted, Sun+Earth Certified, a leading non-profit certification for regenerative organic cannabis and hemp, recently announced the launch of its first urban farm, located in Detriot’s Palmer Park area. The venture, called ROI Urban Farms, is part of a Sun+Earth Certified roster that has doubled in size over the past year, which is also the organization’s first year of existence.
According to a statement released this week, the farm uses biodynamic farming practices backed by scientific research. As stated, the mission is to provide the best possible "living food" for people in their community, and they do so by centering their values around “health and vitality.”
While producing such things as nutritive dense fruits, vegetables, and herbs, ROI Urban Farms also grows cannabis and hemp for therapeutic use. The farm uses sustainable methods that put the earth first, such as ecycling spent carbon created by the farm, rotating and integrating crops, and the use of compost.
"We chose to become Sun+Earth Certified because our studies of Permaculture convinced us that ethical and regenerative-based businesses will be at the forefront of the cannabis space in the not-too-distant future," said Jamie Meyers, founder of ROI Urban Farms in a statement. "Not only do we grow elementally enhanced foods and cannabis for the people of Detroit, but we also help to educate youth and others in our local community about regenerative organic farming practices. We hope to inspire a new generation of progressive farmers to embrace our model of Modern Day Homesteading."
Sun+Earth Certified is the work of cannabis industry leaders and advocates who came together with a commitment to regenerative organic agriculture, farmer and farm-worker protections, and community engagement. According to a statement, they’ve worked hard towards the goal of bringing the cannabis industry closer to sustainability.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed the progress of Sun+Earth Certified as we continue to approve new farms and expand into new states," said Andrew Black, Executive Director of Sun+Earth Certified in a statement. "We're also breaking new ground with the certification of our first urban farm, which uses innovative farming practices that we can all learn from."
As per their statement, most cannabis products sold on the market today don’t come with packaging that explains how the product was grown or cultivated. Neither is the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers detailed to consumers.
Conversely, Sun+Earth Certified uses only organic methods and informs consumers of their processes every step of the way. As they note in their statement, “[a]ccording to the market research group TrendSource and its 2019 Cannabis Industry Report, over 53 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for organic cannabis products.”
Moreover, cannabis growing methods are contributing to the climate crisis on planet earth in several ways. As Sun+Earth wrote, “[i]ndustrial indoor cannabis production consumes high volumes of electricity and puts the indoor cannabis industry at odds with efforts to mitigate the current climate crisis.”
The statement continued: “According to a 2012 academic report, all cannabis grown in the US uses the same amount of energy it takes to power 1.7 million US homes, and generates greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 3 million cars. More recently, the 2018 Cannabis Energy Report from New Frontier Data found that growing indoors uses 18 times more electricity and has a carbon footprint nearly 25 times larger than outdoor farms.”