Cannabis production doesn’t necessarily need to take place inside, but in many states, it’s a simple reality. From laws to climate, indoor production isn’t going anywhere, but we do need to make it more sustainable.
We’ve written a lot about the energy-intensive practice of indoor cannabis production. With energy consumption expected to increase by over 100% by 2025, every responsible grower is actively looking at their facility to find ways to reduce electrical usage.
Experts in the field have spent decades researching the impact of cannabis growth on people and society, investigating health and psychological impacts and how it has shaped social norms. It has only been in recent years, however, that serious attention has fallen on the impact cannabis production might have on a community’s electrical grid. For example, cannabis production accounted for roughly 3% of California’s total electrical consumption. Impressive? That was all the way back in 2012.
So why do we grow inside in the first place? Decades of legal challenges have crafted the current production model. When marijuana was illegal, growers were forced to bring plants indoors, essentially hiding their product in closets and spare rooms. This obviously required them to use lights and other HVAC systems for a successful crop. Many of those same laws on production ban outdoor growth in some states and counties, even if cannabis products are legal in the same state.
More often, however, outdoor growth just isn’t possible in many, many places in the United States. Only a handful of Sun Belt states can consistently grow marijuana or, indeed anything, outside a full twelve months of the year. Indoor facilities aren’t going away, but technologies exist to improve sustainability.
One of the most common upgrades come in the form of LED lights. Modern lighting can reduce energy consumption by as much as 62% over older fixtures. On the whole, most facilities can reduce their energy consumption by 30-40% with the right mix of tools.
There is also more tech coming to the rescue. One company is pioneering glass that allows natural light through without the heat, a problem in most greenhouses. That could be a few years away from the market, but the more we do now, the more impactful new technologies will be as the industry continues to grow!
Let us upgrade your facility to get more out of each and every harvest. Call today!