The report “The Greening of Marijuana Growing Operations: Best Practices for Energy Efficiency and Conservation in the Cannabis Industry” was released on 4/20, 2014. In the wake of a radical shift towards the legal status of marijuana, the United States is grappling with the complex issues related to the booming cannabis market sector, including the intense energy drain that legal grow house operations put on the electricity grid. The report introduces the state of the industry, the fundamentals of the cannabis grow operation, techniques for managing energy demand, and best practices for applying these techniques directly for financial and environmental benefit.
- Homes that grow cannabis often use 10 times the amount of energy as an average home, while warehouse growing operations may use as much energy as an industrial-scale data center.
- Legalization can reduce the demands of growing placed on the grid, by allowing for energy-efficient products and services to be offered through legitimate channels.
- There are many technology solutions that can mitigate grow house energy demand that were simply not available under the specter of criminalized growing operations.
- While there has been some effort to reduce grow house demand, there is a lack of orchestrated effort from policymakers to address the issues comprehensively.
“Legalized growing currently represents unchecked energy growth. Policymakers must treat the cannabis industry as any other high-intensity customer segment,” said Carol Stimmel, founder and CEO of Manifest Mind. “If we can bring energy efficiency to growers, then legalization will improve the energy-use scenario for cannabis growing, not worsen it.”
“Cannabis growers are historically risk averse, but that doesn’t make them inherently opposed to trying new things; they just need some assurance that their livelihood isn’t going to be jeopardized if they decide to make a change to the way they run their facilities,” said Bryan Jungers, principal researcher for the Manifest Mind report. “Growers need assurance that utilities that are offering them energy efficiency programs understand how to deliver results without negatively impacting their cultivation operations.”
About Manifest Mind