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California Studies How Marijuana Farming Effects State’s Energy

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As California gears up for the implementation of Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use, state regulators are trying to figure out how the new industry will impact the energy supply.

In February, the California Public Utilities Commission held a workshop to assess the potential energy impacts of widespread legal pot growth.

Panelists consisting of utility representatives, cannabis growers and regulators mulled over ways to make cultivation more energy efficient, according to CPUC officials.

“The fast growth in the cannabis industry presents a challenge and an opportunity to ensure that the choices made by the cannabis industry reflect California’s climate goals,” said CPUC President Michael Picker.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, the California Department of Food and Agriculture will begin accepting applications for licenses to grow pot, but it’s still unclear what the energy impacts of the industry might be.

Based on information from other states where recreational pot use is legal and California’s own experience with legalized medicinal marijuana, many growers appear to prefer indoor cultivation, according to a CPUC report based on the workshop’s findings called “Energy Impacts of Cannabis Cultivation,” which the CPUC released Thursday, also known as 4/20. [Read more at CBS SF Bay Area]

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