Working with Local Cannabis Cultivators to Reduce Environmental Impacts
Boulder County values balancing a strong economy with protection of the environment and social equity. To promote prudent land and resource use, Boulder County is collaborating with local cannabis cultivators to help them reduce their environmental impacts while simultaneously reducing their production costs.
Reducing Energy Waste
Currently, the lighting and cooling systems that are used to grow marijuana indoors have extremely high rates of electricity consumption, and corresponding greenhouse gas pollution. Since the majority of electricity in Colorado comes from coal-fired power plants, the dirtiest source of power, Boulder County is taking steps to reduce the impact of the cannabis industry on the environment.
Boulder County Energy Impact Offset Fund
Because of its proportionally significant contribution to climate change, Boulder County is requiring commercial cannabis cultivators to either offset their electricity use with local renewable energy, which now includes RenewableConnect, or pay a 2.16 cent charge per kWh. The fees from this surcharge are then placed into the Boulder County Energy Impact Offset Fund. This fund in turn, can be used to educate and support best in industry practices with regards to energy usage as well as for funding other carbon pollution reducing projects such as low income renewable energy. Lastly, this program is collecting high-quality energy usage data that will provide researchers with the information they need to develop the most efficient lighting and ventilation systems for this rapidly growing industry.