Green Energy: Pot and Renewable Power

Posted by Andrew Price

Colorado is one of the 14 states that have legalized medical marijuana, but I think Boulder is the first city that might require dispensaries to be sustainable. From Boulder's Daily Camera:

House Bill 1284, which appears to be on its way to the governor's desk this week, would contain a provision requiring all dispensaries to grow at least 70 percent of the marijuana they sell.

At the same time, regulations being considered in Boulder -- which will likely be approved May 18 -- would require dispensaries that grow any amount of their own product to offset 100 percent of the electricity they use by subscribing to wind power, connecting to a community solar garden or using on-site solar panels.

The combination of the state and local laws, if left unchanged, would likely mean each of the 100 licensed dispensaries in Boulder would have to go to all-clean energy.
The Boulder City Council members pushing this idea are focusing on the dispensaries both because they use so much energy (growing lamps, fans, etc.) and because they're politically vulnerable. But as municiple renewable energy initiaves go, it's a little arbitrary. They aren't the only businesses that consume lots of energy.

That said, I'm sure the dispensaries could survive, and using renewable energy is probably something their clientele of outdoorsy potheads glaucoma sufferers would really appreciate. And it's interesting to think that the medical marijuana industry might be thrust into the role of renewable energy trailblazers.

Image: Dispensary, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from denverjeffrey's photostream