Colorado Officials Launch New Program To Fund Marijuana Industry Energy Efficiency
Walking the downtown streets of a state where marijuana is legal, you might see litter from the commercial cannabis industry: castaway baggies and joint tubes that contribute to the growing global crisis of plastic waste. What’s less visible is the industry’s demand for resources like water and energy, an appetite that state governments are now trying to curb. In Colorado, cannabis cultivation comprised 2 percent of the state’s total energy use, according to a 2018 report from the Colorado Energy Office (CEO). In the years since, the industry has only grown. Electricity is pricey for growers too, the report found, eating up roughly a third of cultivators’ operating budgets. Next week, Colorado officials will begin accepting applications from state-licensed marijuana cultivators for a new program aimed at reducing the industry’s energy footprint. The effort will provide low-income financing and technical assistance to growers, focusing on ways to promote more efficient use of electricity, gas, water and other resources. The assistance includes a facility audit and historic analysis of resource use, as well as identifying possible improvements. “Colorado was the first state to legalize cannabis and now will be the first state to help licensed cultivation operators make their operation more energy efficient,” Gov. Jared Polis (D) said in a press release on Thursday. “Providing innovative ways for cannabis cultivation operators to improve energy efficiency will save business owners money and reduce energy use in the industry.” After identifying possible improvements, the release says, businesses will then work with the Colorado Clean Energy Fund, the state’s green bank, “to secure low-interest loans to implement these improvements.” The bank was formed in 2018 and funded by state lawmakers in 2021. Applications for the Cannabis Resource Optimization Program, or CROP, will open next week, on Wednesday, February 15, following an 11:30 a.m. Zoom…
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Source : Colorado Officials Launch New Program To Fund Marijuana Industry Energy Efficiency
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