Can New England Innovation Make Cannabis Greener?

Can New England Innovation Make Cannabis Greener?

As I sat in a jam-packed conference room at last week’s NESEA BuildingEnergy Boston conference to learn about the energy consumption profile by commercial-scale cannabis production (a.k.a. the “Cannabis Cultivation Conundrum”), I was struck by three major themes. First, cannabis cultivation can be enormously energy intensive, and legal demand for marijuana in our region will very likely be driving up energy and water use. Every state in New England now permits marijuana consumption for medicinal purposes, and voters in both Massachusetts and Maine recently passed ballot referendums legalizing recreational use as well. Medicinal growers can produce in all states save Connecticut, and large-scale commercial growers are already preparing to set up shop across the region, particularly in Massachusetts where legal recreational use is imminent, pending regulatory fixes by legislators. At the relatively staid energy efficiency and green building conferences I typically attend, one rarely sees speakers mobbed like rockstars by audience members gobbling up information. By comparison, this panel sparked great enthusiasm,...
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