The $344 billion cannabis industry is one of the country’s most energy-intensive in the world, frequently demanding an array of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, fans and 24-hour indoor lighting rigs at multiple growing sites. Just how much electricity does the entire US marijuana industry consume? The numbers are mind-boggling.
They’re also the bane of the cannabis industry, according to Joseph Maskell, founder and president of AAXLL, one cannabis company aiming to be a major disrupter of the short-lived status quo. “The key in this emerging industry is to be asset-light,” says Maskell.
“With billions spent just on electricity in the US cannabis-growing industry, the companies that will survive the next culling, which is already in process, will be those with low capital outlays, no warehouses, no buildings, no machinery.”
Back in 2016, after the state of Oregon legalized recreational marijuana, Pacific Power in Portland recorded seven blackouts that the company traced to marijuana production.
Meanwhile, a good 45% of Denver’s increase in energy demand or “load growth” was directly linked to electricity that went to power marijuana growth. In other words, investors are going to have to unplug unless they want to see their profits go up in smoke.
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