With Indoor Grows Set to Flourish, It’s Time to Assess Energy Needs
This heat wave is putting plenty of pressure on the state’s power grid. Now just imagine the weight when you add thousands of indoor marijuana grows to the equation -- grow lights and all.
Energy use is expected to be one of the major considerations for regulators in the coming years when it comes to legal marijuana. It’s also expected to be a significant challenge for the industry.
“Power is probably one of the top expenses we have on our side,” said Sacramento-area grower Christopher Cohen. He estimates the cost of cultivation at $50 per pound for an indoor grow.
Advances in lighting technology could help mitigate some of the problems. For example, Cohen says LEDs have improved significantly in the past several years and are far more efficient than they used to be. Even then, there's little doubt pot cultivation will lead to an increase in energy use.
The City of Sacramento has received 22 applications for indoor grows so far. Ross Hartman of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District says the city will work with cultivators to assess their energy needs.