The city and county of Missoula are considering new zoning around the sale and location of adult-use cannabis. Not only that, they are also thinking about the energy consumption of the growing facilities as concerns over the energy consumption of cannabis grow operations surfaced in the Consolidated Planning Board last month, particularly around the production process that could produce cannabis on an industrial scale.
A 2012 study on the carbon footprint of indoor cannabis production estimated that cultivation consumed as much as 1% of all electricity in the U.S. at that time.
The number of grow operations has increased since then, and some are likely to operate in Missoula: according to the city, around 70 cannabis-related businesses are already operating in Missoula. Of those, 50 are medical marijuana dispensaries while the remaining 20 are cultivators and manufacturers.
“Energy use is a big concern,” said Dale Bickell, the CAO of Missoula. “We are taking steps to address that as well.”
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