Boulder Colorado City Council has recently passed an ordinance regulating production and sales of medical marijuana. It's got all the usual stuff you'd expect in such an ordinance. Here's the part of the Daily Camera coverage which got my attention: "Growing operations will have to offset 100 percent of their electricity use with wind or solar power."
Growing pot with coal-fired power - a certainty in Colorado - has a huge carbon footprint. Add to that, users oft times burn pot to get their 'treatment.' With around a hundred dispensaries in place in Boulder, this rule promises to limit the growth of suppliers as well as reduce the impact on climate. I didn't inhale becomes my respiratory therapy was green. How much 'greener' is a calculation I let others work on. Other details below.On further reading I discovered that the first sound byte is misleading. Another Camera story explains that the new rule
would require dispensaries that grow any amount of their own product to offset 100 percent of the electricity they use by subscribing to wind power, connecting to a community solar garden or using on-site solar panels.So they'll have to grow their own with green power if for no other reason than there are no established suppliers who can provide a guarantee that green power was used. That means means capital outlays or use of more expensive green power purchases.
The combination of the state and local laws, if left unchanged, would likely mean each of the 100 licensed dispensaries in Boulder would have to go to all-clean energy.
I'd love to see this regulatory approach be copied in coal-dependent states by legislators who see it as a backhanded way to limit pot use. On a large enough scale, it would help set economic development on a new, nmore sustainable course. By analogy: as porn made the internet a place for businesses, pot could help make renewable energy a viable way to power them.
Is anybody else feeling hungry?