Indoor cannabis cultivation is known to be extremely energy-intensive. Last week, the Washington Post published an article that suggested that the cannabis industry has a “surprisingly huge energy footprint”, extrapolating on a report from New Frontier that the cannabis industry energy consumption could approximate 1% of total energy usage and represent a cost of $6 billion per year. Other media ran with the story.
Aaron Biros, the publisher and editor of the Cannabis Industry Journal, investigated the assumptions and concluded that they are flawed. The report relies upon old data and doesn’t separate out the black market from the legal cannabis industry, which is extremely focused on reducing energy consumption.
Biros supports his conclusion and cites Brett Roper, the COO of Medicine Man Technologies (OTC: MDCL), which has a good handle on the efficiencies in cannabis production that have been achieved in the five years following the data from the Mills study. Based on the experience of Medicine Man, Roper believes that energy costs can approximate 3% of the wholesale price of cannabis in a larger-scale operation. He also believes that the CO2 emissions cited in the report are overstated.
New Frontiers, which clearly stated its study was reliant upon the work of Mills, has certainly brought an important issue to the attention of the public, even if the conclusions may be exaggerated. The company will be working with cannabis cultivators to integrate real-time data regarding energy consumption.
Read Aaron Biros’ “Legal Cannabis Industry’s Energy Bill Not So Alarming”: https://www.cannabisindustryjournal.com/feature_article/legal-cannabis-industrys-energy-footprint-not-6-billion/
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