The Politics of Sustainability

The Politics of Sustainability

Cannabis Business Times recently featured an article I wrote, titled "The Politics of Sustainability: How to work proactively with city and state energy and environmental officials to keep you clear of citations, and make your grow more sustainable." Below is the lede, and you can find the whole article here: When it comes to energy and the environment, there is bad news and good news for cannabis growers. The bad news is the Trump Administration has abdicated much of its responsibility to protect the environment, and the cannabis industry—particularly energy- and water-intensive commercial-scale growing and processing facilities—will be squarely in the crosshairs of state energy and environmental regulators as a result. The good news, however, is that this presents three prime opportunities for cultivators: To come together to work with policymakers to craft regulations that make sense for the industry and the environment, To explore innovative ways to reduce the energy and environmental impact of cannabis production, and To brand the cannabis...
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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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