Energy and Environment Working Group comments

Climate Resources Group was a proud signatory to the comments below to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission Energy and Environment Working Group today. *** Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission 101 Federal Street, 13th floor Boston, MA 02110 Submitted via email: CannabisCommission@State.MA.US September 14, 2018 Dear Cannabis Control Commission, Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment to the Energy and Environment Working Group (EEWG). On September 11, 2018, Resource Innovation Institute, in partnership with Climate Resources Group, convened a Cannabis Energy Roundtable with stakeholders in the cannabis industry and those who provide services to them. This work is funded by a Massachusetts-based foundation, E4TheFuture. The discussion among cannabis operators, construction professionals, technology manufacturers, utilities and energy policy experts yielded mutually agreeable issues of interest for the EEWG’s consideration, described below. Over the course of the coming weeks, we anticipate recommending specific language on the following topics: Clarity to current statutory language There is confusion in the marketplace about how the terms “Growing space,” “Mature” and “Active” are used in the...
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CCC’s Energy and Environment Working Group At Bat

CCC’s Energy and Environment Working Group At Bat

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s efforts to refine its regulations for energy and environmental performance for cultivation and product manufacturing facilities are now officially underway. Last week, the Commission convened the first meeting of its long-awaited Energy and Environment Working Group (EEWG). Membership in the group is so far limited to the bare minimum required by the law: designees from the Department of Energy Resources, Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Agricultural Resources. A CCC representative sits on the EEWG but does not have a vote. The meeting itself was perfunctory, essentially a pre-game show to the main event. But it did reveal that the EEWG intends to inform itself to some degree through a series of listening sessions across the state. The Group proposed to itself a series of public listening sessions across the state later this summer with the stated objective of hearing from a range of stakeholders, including growers, ancillary service providers, other businesses and industries, and...
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Five things you need to know about the Massachusetts cannabis energy rules

Five things you need to know about the Massachusetts cannabis energy rules

Are you concerned about what Massachusetts’s energy and environmental regulations may mean for your young cannabis cultivation, extraction or dispensary business? My advice: inform yourself, do your homework, and don’t pack your bags. Before you walk away in frustration, here are five things you should know about the current rules: 1. Yes, most of the regulations apply to ALL marijuana businesses planning to operate in Massachusetts. In section 500.105: General Operational Requirements for Marijuana Establishments (1) (p), the state calls for every marijuana business applicant - including cultivators, manufacturers, labs, retails, transporters, and researchers - to demonstrate consideration of energy efficiency, renewable energy and utility rebate programs. The state has not yet offered specific guidance on what might constitute an appropriate level of consideration in an application, but an effective response will show that you have thought about how you may: Integrate renewable energy into your power acquisition plan (and if not, why not), Deploy technologies or approaches to optimize your facility's...
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CCC raises the bar on indoor cannabis cultivation

CCC raises the bar on indoor cannabis cultivation

At yesterday’s public meeting at the Massachusetts State House, the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) agreed to include the recommendations of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. If these recommendations are included in the CCC’s final regulations filed by March 15 of this year, Massachusetts will be light-years ahead of any other state in regulating the energy and environmental impact of legal cannabis cultivation and product manufacturing. Several of the proposed regulations are groundbreaking in their own right, and in sum they are a BFD (to paraphrase Joe Biden). But what are they? What are their implications for the cannabis industry? Should advocates for a greener cannabis industry have buyer’s remorse? A lighting power density (LPD) standard of no more than 36 W per square foot of canopy for a cultivation facility with over 5,000 ft² of canopy.  [UPDATE: The final regulations offer an olive branch to growers, giving them the flexibility to meet the LPD standard as an...
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Cannabis and Massachusetts Energy Efficiency

Earlier this month, Climate Resources Group had the pleasure of addressing the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Council to educate Councillors about the energy footprint of the legal cannabis industry in the state. My overarching points that cannabis cultivation is extremely energy intensive, is on the cusp of exploding in the Bay State, and merits consideration in the state's next 3-year plan were, I think, well-received. Feel free to download and use the memo. If you share it, I'd be curious to hear what kind of response you get. Stay tuned, and watch this space. ...
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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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Why I Formed Climate Resources Group

I got my first taste of the urgency of climate change while spending a summer as an unpaid intern at an energy and environmental NGO in Dakar, Senegal. I was fresh out of a two year-long post-college experience in Washington, DC, and I wanted to get back to West Africa, were I had spent a year abroad in college. At ENDA-TM, I read for the first time the UNFCCC reports on climate change and desertification. Later during my stint working in rural Senegal on a fuel switching program to encourage villagers to purchase kerosene stoves instead of harvesting and burning shrubs, for the first time I began to appreciate the human dimensions of climate change, which for this part of the world largely meant more heat, less rain, less forest, more desert. A spark went off within me. I took my newfound passion for finding more environmentally sustainable ways to meet our basic (and not so basic) energy needs to New England, where...
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