Forgot Something, Commissioner Hoffman?

Forgot Something, Commissioner Hoffman?

Last week, Massachusetts’ newly-formed Cannabis Control Commission held its first formal meetings. At its second meeting, the Commission distributed a draft working agenda (whether the CCC intended its release is not clear, but regardless the document is now publicly available - though buried - on the Mass.gov website. H/T to Dan Adams of the Boston Globe for turning it up). The agenda helpfully shows the issues the Commissioners are planning to tackle and how they are divvying up the job. It’s an eye-opening document and a welcome sneak peek into a state bureaucracy getting to work. If not no other reason, it's worth a look to see how Bain trains its people to organize projects. Glaringly absent from the list, however, was any mention whatsoever of the Commission’s statutory obligations to create energy and environmental performance standards for marijuana cultivation facilities operating in the state or a plan to involve traditional agriculture. A charitable reading of the list suggests that of course...
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Massachusetts Poised to Lead in Green Weed

Massachusetts Poised to Lead in Green Weed

Massachusetts and California continue to battle it out for the title of “The Cleanest and Greenest State,” this time on the cannabis front. Voters in California and Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana in November 2016. Each state already had medical marijuana on the books, though California’s legal market has been operating since 1996, nearly 20 years before Massachusetts’ foray into legal weed. California regulators have been exploring the energy and environmental implications of a legal market for marijuana within their borders for several years now. CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, California’s official cannabis licensing organization, recently completed its draft Program Environmental Impact Report (with the final due out this fall), and The California Public Utilities Commission separately is investigating the impact on energy consumption and the power grid. Massachusetts is taking a similar approach, with lawmakers charging its nascent oversight agency, the Cannabis Control Commission, with establishing energy and environmental standards for licensees operating in the state. For the Bay State, this is a major...
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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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