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US (CO): Growers in Colorado look for sustainable solutions

Growing cannabis indoors can generate a lot of greenhouse gases. In 2020, researchers affiliated with Colorado State University took a closer look at energy use across the U.S. from indoor cannabis cultivation.

“When you look at the total emissions from indoor cannabis cultivation in Colorado, it's pretty much equivalent to the coal mining industry in Colorado,” said Jason Quinn, Ph.D., the director of Colorado State University’s Sustainability Research Laboratory.

The study found that the state’s mining industry is responsible for about 1.8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) every year. The cannabis industry, meanwhile, produces around 2.1 million metric tons of GHGs.

“When that study came out, it was an eye-opener,” said Chris Baca. He is the operations manager at The Clinic, a dispensary in Denver. “It kind of let us know how bad it actually is and how bad it got and how bad it could get in the future if we don't start taking these steps to help minimize that.”


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