"Why leading California cannabis growers should welcome switch to LED lighting"

The world is going green and we must lead with innovation.

In an effort to curb swelling energy consumption in the nation’s most populous state, the California Energy Commission (CEC) has proposed that all indoor cannabis operations convert entirely to LED lights by 2023.

Medical marijuana is legal in California and 34 other states, while recreational use is now legal in 15 states with more expected to legalize. Growth within California and other states has fueled demand for cannabis flower, resulting in the rapid expansion of both the number of indoor grows and the total square footage required to meet demand.

The highest quality cannabis is produced indoors. The irrigation, ventilation and lighting required to nurture and grow plants drives enormous energy consumption. The CEC aims to address this through a number of new regulations — most notably by requiring companies to convert lower efficiency grow lights, such as metal halide or high-pressure sodium, to more energy-efficient LEDs. This would, however, require a substantial upfront investment by cannabis cultivators.

The cannabis industry is against this proposal — a shift of this magnitude will require cultivators to absorb substantial upfront costs and invest in research to develop new cultivation methods to ensure that flower production can be maintained without forsaking quality. Some critics argue the cost of conversion will drive out new operators, encourage illegal grows and entice cultivators to work outside the scrutiny of regulators.

Read more at sacbee.com.

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