How & where to dispose of your empty cannabis vape cartridge

5 min read

Over the last few years, cannabis cartridges & e-cigarettes have gained wild popularity. While a quick google search may pull up a plethora of information around cannabis carts & e-cigarettes, there seems to be less information around the safe and proper disposal of them. 

Cannabis vaporizers & e-cigarettes alike have raised a number of concerns about their potential environmental impacts due to several reasons including waste generation, use of non-biodegradable materials, release of toxic chemicals leaching into water & soil systems. 

It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are a number of organizations that offer battery recycling programs or initiatives to lessen your impact on the environment. 

Ask your local dispensary: a number of dispensaries will accept your empty cannabis cartridge as part of reducing the environmental impact. 

Contact the Manufacturer: reach out to the product manufacturer and ask about their recycling or proper disposal program.

Contact your local waste management department:  to request information and guidance around proper disposal of empty cartridges.  

Contact local waste co-operatives: Research to see if there are any local, independent groups in your local area that collect and properly dispose of empty cartridges. 

California governor Gavin Newsom signed a Bill that will make it illegal for cannabis cartridges to be packaged, labeled, & marketed as disposable. This new regulation was handed down as part of Assembly Bill 1984 and will come into effect on July 1, 2024. 

The full text of the new law is outlined below: 

“(1) Advertisement and marketing of an integrated cannabis vaporizer, as defined in Section 26122, shall prominently provide in a clear and legible fashion: “An empty integrated cannabis vaporizer shall be properly disposed of as hazardous waste at a household hazardous waste collection facility or other approved facility.”

(2) Advertisement and marketing of a cannabis cartridge shall prominently provide in a clear and legible fashion: “A spent cannabis cartridge shall be properly disposed of as hazardous waste at a household hazardous waste collection facility or other approved facility.”

(3) For the purposes of this subdivision, “authorized facility” means a facility authorized under the hazardous waste control laws under Chapter 6.5 (commencing with Section 25100) of Division 20 of the Health and Safety Code.

Advertisement and marketing of a cannabis cartridge and an integrated cannabis vaporizer shall not indicate that a cannabis cartridge or an integrated cannabis vaporizer is disposable nor imply that it may be thrown in the trash or recycling streams.”

Ongoing changes to packaging and labeling requirements of cannabis products means that industry operators must keep an eye (and ear out) for these changes in order to maintain compliance as well as prioritizing consumer health, education, & environmental safety. 

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