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Once shut out, Maine cannabis industry now eligible for sustainable energy grants

One of Maine’s most energy-intensive industries will no longer be shut out of the state’s energy efficiency incentive programs.

The trustees of Efficiency Maine, a ratepayer-funded agency that promotes sustainable energy usage, voted 5-2 on Wednesday to reverse a ban on giving energy-efficiency grants to state-legal marijuana businesses, concluding they are just as likely to last long enough to produce the energy savings needed to justify the grant as any other kind of business.

In 2017, Efficiency Maine trustees worried the Trump administration might crack down on cannabis businesses, even if they are state licensed, because they operate outside of federal law. That would make it impossible for any grant recipient to save enough money to meet the program’s cost-effectiveness requirement.

“It takes time to make your money back on these grants,” said Executive Director Michael Stoddard. “Three years ago, we were trying to look into our crystal ball to determine how reasonable it was to determine a cannabis business would have the kind of time it takes to do that. Every project is different, but with most, it takes a number of years.” [Read more at Portland Press Herald]

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