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WIRE: Portland institute prepares cannabis industry’s first energy efficiency standards

Portland, OregonResource Innovation Institute (RII), the only non-profit organization addressing energy and water conservation in the cannabis industry, is convening its Technical Advisory Committee tomorrow as it prepares to release the industry’s first energy efficiency standard, according to RII Executive Director Derek Smith.

“Resource efficiency will define the future of cannabis. This is evidenced by price pressures in the more mature regulated markets, as well as rising interest by consumers and regulators about the energy impacts of cannabis,” said Smith. “What’s been missing is a system to measure and evaluate energy efficient cultivation.”

After more than a year of analyzing data and convening stakeholder dialogues, RII has developed an approach to measure the energy footprint of cannabis cultivation facilities. Now, the conversation turns to setting levels of performance via a stakeholder-vetted standard.

RII’s energy standard will enable grouping of producers into categories of efficiency within each type of production – indoor, outdoor and hybrid/greenhouse. The groupings will be primarily determined by performance as measured by the Cannabis PowerScore™ tool. A producer’s “PowerScore” will be generated by an equation based on watts per square foot and other key criteria, as recommended by RII’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

“The Cannabis PowerScore™ tool will enable growers and investors to confidentially assess their energy performance relative to like producers in their region,” Smith said. “In addition, the anonymous aggregate data will inform regulators, utilities and technology manufacturers how to support producers to successfully grow while reducing their energy footprint.”

In 2018, RII will release a voluntary certification label that will designate cultivation facilities as resource efficient. “What we’re doing now is establishing the underpinnings of what that label will represent and how it will be verified,” continued Smith. “We’re starting with energy to inform the increasing dialogue by regulators, utilities and industry actors on how best to incentivize energy-efficient production.”

Following the energy standard, RII and its Technical Advisory Committee will develop a carbon standard and water standard to round out what it means to be resource efficient in cannabis cultivation.

The charge of the Technical Advisory Committee on Sept. 26 will be to review and advise on:

·       The critical data points, units of measurement and equation methodology underlying the Cannabis PowerScore tool

·       The way performance categorized, both in terms of type of production as well as climate zone

·       A public process that will result in broad-based feedback on the standard and rollout of the Cannabis PowerScore tool

“Price drops in Colorado and Washington are bellwethers for what it will take to compete,” Smith said. “RII will help guide the way to a lower-cost, lower-impact industry.”

About Resource Innovation Institute

Resource Innovation Institute (RII) sets industry standards, convenes leadership events and advocates for effective policies, incentives and regulations that advance an energy and water efficient future for cannabis. As an objective, research-based, non-profit partner, we help the legal cannabis sector achieve sustainability outcomes, advance constructive industry oversight and generate increased profitability and market differentiation. We fulfill our mission by curating venues for the exchange and validation of best practices among producers, manufacturers, utilities, design and construction professionals, and policymakers.

Please contact: Derek Smith, Executive Director, at 503.201.5157 and for more information.

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