Marijuana Industry, State Regulators Meet to Review Proposed Grow Rules

Marijuana industry workers and advocates spoke out against proposed state changes to both retail and medical marijuana rules in a public hearing Tuesday.

The most contentious issue: limiting greenhouse grows.

If passed, a new production cap rule would allow marijuana warehouses to grow up to 3,600 plants while limiting greenhouses and outdoor cultivation sites to 1,800 plants.

“This is completely against what we need to do,” said Greg Duran, a cannabis greenhouse consultant and marijuana industry advocate. “We need to make the leap from being inside and use greenhouse techniques to reduce the light we have to use, reduce water, reduce costs.”

Currently, the largest producers of medical and retail marijuana in Colorado operate within warehouses. These warehouses run intense lighting and ventilation machines that cause a significant strain on the electricity grid. One national study released in 2012 showed that indoor marijuana cultivation nationwide accounted for 1 percent of the entire national energy consumption and costs about $6 billion in energy expenses each year – and that was before recreational legalization in Colorado and Washington.

According to the study, an average kilogram of marijuana can cause 4,600 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions – which is about the same amount of CO2 emissions as three million U.S. cars. A recent marijuana market study in this state shows that about 77 metric tons, or 77,000 kilograms of marijuana will be sold in Colorado’s pot shops this year.

– Read the entire article at I News Network.