The Energy and Climate Impacts of Indoor Marijuana Cultivation
Academic Webinar Series
Apr 14, 2021
Webinar begins at Noon Central
Duration: 1.0 hours
Indoor marijuana cultivation is currently legal—at least to some degree—in all but eight states in the United States. With energy intensities around 2,000 Watts per minute, indoor marijuana cultivation consumes between 50 and 200 times more than an average office building and 66 times more than an average home. And, given the lucrative nature of the industry and the movement toward legalization, its energy demand is projected to grow exponentially over the next several years. The problem is that this growth is exacerbating an already strained energy delivery system and increasing greenhouse gas emissions due to a fossil-fuel reliant grid. While moving cultivation outdoors would be the most effective way of reducing these harms, outdoor grows are prohibited or limited in many states and by the federal government. A small number of states and localities, however, have recognized the energy-related harms and are working to mitigate them through their licensing frameworks. In addition, some public utility companies are working with indoor growers to help offset compliance costs and incentivize best practices through push and pull policies that can provide incentives for energy-efficient technology, grants for studies to fully understand the industry’s energy demand and for individualized funding of energy efficient technology, and taxes or fees for overconsumption beyond a set baseline.
IEL’s Academic Webinar Series provides an opportunity for IEL’s Academic Community to share with the broader IEL community topics they are currently researching and writing upon and to engage in a discussion with a wide cross section of the energy industry community.
Webinar begins at noon CDT
Duration: 1.0 hours
Professor Gina S. Warren
George Butler Research Professor, Professor of Law, and Codirector of the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Center
University of Houston Law Center
MCLE credit for this program will not be requested in any jurisdiction.
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