Colorado Gov. Jared Polis today joined the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Energy Office to announce two pilot programs focused on energy usage and environmental responsibility in the cannabis and beer industries. You can watch the announcement above.
“We are committed to taking the necessary steps to improve our air quality and reduce harmful emissions,” said Governor Jared Polis. “These pilot programs combine a few of the things that Colorado is known for — environmental responsibility, craft beer and cannabis. I applaud our state agencies and private partners for working together on these innovative programs to help protect the Colorado way of life.”
“As a state, we’ve committed ourselves to ambitious, wide-ranging strategies to reduce harmful greenhouse gases. This pilot program is a perfect example of the state’s willingness to embrace creative solutions and call on businesses to innovate to help build a healthier, cleaner, more sustainable Colorado,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
CDPHE’s Carbon Dioxide Reuse Pilot Project is the first of its kind to establish the commercial exchange of recovered carbon dioxide. The program will capture carbon dioxide produced during the beer brewing process and use that carbon to cultivate cannabis and stimulate plant growth. Denver Beer Co., The Clinic and Earthly Labs are partnering together and with the state to pioneer this new technology. Denver Beer Co. can capture more than 100,000 lbs of carbon each year using this technology.
This pilot program provides a roadmap for the beer and cannabis industries for how to reduce their carbon footprint and increase the efficiency of their operations.
“Denver Beer Co. is proud to work with The Clinic and Earthly Labs in pioneering this new exchange market. This innovative technology will greatly reduce our carbon emissions and carbon footprint,” said Charlie Berger, cofounder of Denver Beer Co. “At Denver Beer Co., we believe in the importance of environmental stewardship. We have one planet, and we believe it is our corporate and social responsibility to help conserve and protect our resources.”
“Earthly Labs’ vision is to capture and avoid 1 billion metric tons of CO2,” said CEO Amy George. “The State of Colorado is leading the charge in the country to promote small scale carbon capture investment to meet their 2030 goals. We are thrilled to help these industry pioneers reduce costs, drive innovation, and improve the quality of life in Colorado.”
The Colorado Energy Office’s newly launched Colorado Cultivators Energy Management pilot program is a partnership with local electric cooperatives and municipal utilities to provide eligible cannabis cultivation businesses with no-cost technical energy use assessments to better understand energy use drivers and cost-effective energy management opportunities. The pilot will work with five utilities and 15 licensed cannabis cultivation businesses. The program also offers no-cost resources to rural electric cooperatives interested in developing longer term plans to support cannabis industry utility customers.
The Colorado Cultivators Energy Management pilot program builds off of CEO’s Energy Use in the Colorado Cannabis Industry report published in 2018. This report covers the history of marijuana legalization in Colorado, assesses baseline energy and water use for production, examines municipal policy development and its impacts on industry growth, and reviews opportunities for cultivators to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.