The State of Colorado, Earthly Labs, Denver Beer Co., and The Clinic just announced the successful conclusion of their pilot program to capture waste carbon dioxide (CO2) at Denver Beer Co. during the fermentation process, sell and deliver it to The Clinic’s cannabis grow operations and use the CO2 to stimulate cannabis plant growth.
The pilot revealed the ability for Denver Beer Co. to keep the equivalent of approximately 93 trees worth of CO2 from the atmosphere, while providing The Clinics’ CO2 needs for a complete 16 week harvest at a 15 percent reduced cost to commercial CO2. The cannabis plants met their key growth milestones at the different phases of growth from propagation to vegetation and flowering and emerged healthy, demonstrating expected weight and yield as compared to commercial CO2 sources. The Clinic’s new 100 percent natural CO2 powered cannabis product line called “93 Hoppy Trees” will be available in bud form online beginning July 3, 2020. As a result of the success, The Clinic will expand the Denver Beer Co. partnership to reduce CO2 emissions and offer these eco-conscious buds year round.
“The Clinic is thrilled to be the first cannabis cultivator in the country to demonstrate the successful ability to purchase natural CO2 from a brewery, grow healthy cannabis plants that sequester CO2, and inspire our customers,” said Zach Engel, The Clinic director of operations. “We are excited to expand our partnership with Denver Beer Co., advancing sustainability and climate science for our industry while making better bud.”
The Clinic will speak on July 14 at the Cannabis Sustainability Summit, revealing more details of third-party analysis including weight, yield and potency.
“Like our peers, Denver Beer Co. has been challenged the last few months to address the health and sustainability of our business and communities. The Earthly CO2 exchange continued successfully under the stewardship of small businesses in America,” said Charlie Berger, cofounder of Denver Beer Co. “We believe climate change is real. With the support of The Clinic, we want to do our part to innovate and inspire, providing a platform for others to follow. We are committed to Colorado and continually do more for our world.”
“I saw an opportunity for two small businesses to work together to transform a waste into a commodity for both environmental and economic benefits,” said Kaitlin Urso, environmental protection specialist for the small business assistance program at the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in Denver. “Colorado’s focus on reducing CO2 emissions to address climate change requires innovation from small and big business. The pilot was a huge success, demonstrating the ability to capture nearly 100 trees worth of carbon dioxide in a few months and create more natural products for Colorado consumers to enjoy.”
The pilot program demonstrated a cost-efficient CO2 exchange for breweries and marijuana businesses to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions and make better products for their communities. It showcased how small businesses can economically capture their own carbon dioxide emissions using Earthly Labs technology and find a productive use for it, while paying off the cost of their initial investment in carbon capture technology at a much faster rate. Brewers can use some of their own captured carbon dioxide, then sell the excess.
“Our resilience will be guided by leaders like Denver Beer Co. and The Clinic,” said CEO Amy George. “Earthly Labs is thrilled to help these industry pioneers reduce CO2 emissions and costs, inspire customer adoption and improve the quality of life in Colorado. Let’s get out there and enjoy their natural products to help these beloved small businesses prosper.”
The beer-brewing process — specifically, the fermentation stage — naturally produces carbon dioxide. While beer makers use carbon dioxide to carbonate beer and pressurize lines throughout their facilities, the current practice for most brewers, especially smaller-scale craft brewers, is to vent carbon dioxide from fermentation and purchase carbon dioxide from an outside source for carbonation. Using the technology, brewers can instead capture and store excess carbon dioxide for use by cannabis growers.
The legal marijuana industry is a large market for carbon dioxide consumption, as carbon dioxide is used to grow premium product in a condensed time span and increase yields. Carbon dioxide is a key component in the cannabis plant growth process as the plant translates light into the energy needed for growth.