We often hear about how the marijuana industry is helping improve the areas where cannabis is legalized. But what about the resources it consumes in those areas? Well if it's in Denver, then they consume quite a bit.
According to Denver officials, the marijuana industry currently consumes about four percent of the city's electricity. While it's hard to know if that's a substantial amount, we do know that energy use by the industry is increasing. While overall electricity use in the city increased by around one to two percent last year, the marijuana industry's use increased at a much greater rate according to those officials. Some worry it's an obstacle towards the city reaching its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 2050.
However, the marijuana industry's energy use is mostly just a byproduct of growth. Demand for marijuana is increasing in the industry, so new businesses are starting and existing ones are expanding to accommodate. In fact, the amount of energy used per pound of marijuana grown is actually declining. So the industry is becoming more energy-efficient, so the increases in usage is purely due to growth, not waste.
Still, the city is investigating ways to further make the industry more efficient. They've already begun encouraging companies to begin using LED lights which are more efficient. These strategies aren't just for the city either. Cannabis companies are spending tons of money on electricity, so any strategies that help reduce use would also help their bottomline.