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Renewable Energy Mandatory for Marijuana Cultivation in Boulder
photo credit: The Truth About Flickr
It seems only natural that pot should be grown in a sustainable manner with the use of renewable energy. A new law in Boulder, CO requires Medical dispensaries that grow any of their own product to offset 100% of the electricity they use to grow their plants with renewable energy. This could certainly be a boom for clean power use in the area, but there is certainly some opposition to the regulation (regarding this particular line of business) as well as how it might limit who can afford to abide by the new rule.
A medical marijuana grower in Boulder, photo credit: Marty Caivano/Boulder Daily Camera
Many marijuana growers manage their crop indoors, as much for safety and security reasons as for quality control of their plants. This means that a lot of high-wattage growing lamps, fans, ventilators and other equipment is required to cultivate the plants, resulting in high electricity bills (about 3 times more than the average business) and a lot of emissions. The Boulder City Council, as reported by the Daily Camera, has recently signed into effect a new law that would require the growers to completely offset their electricity usage with renewable energy either from buying wind energy, purchasing carbon offsets, buying into a community solar garden or installing a solar system on site.
A state law, House Bill 1284, on its way to the Governor’s desk, would require that medical marijuana dispensaries grow at least 70% of their own product, which means that all the dispensaries in Boulder (about 100) would all have to go 100% clean energy in order to retain their license. While this is certainly a good thing in the long run to cut down on emissions, some business owners are not happy that this specific business type is being singled out. Additionally, there are many owners that may not even be able to afford buying renewable energy, which may limit the number of operating dispensaries.
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