Colorado launches energy-efficiency program for cannabis cultivators

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Colorado is offering “free technical assistance and access to financing for cannabis cultivators” as part of a program to boost energy efficiency.

The inaugural round of applications for the Cannabis Resource Optimization Program (CROP) will open Feb. 15, according to a Thursday news release from the Colorado Energy Office (CEO).

The move follows a pilot program launched in early 2020.

Technical assistance provided by contractor Resource Innovations will include marijuana-facility audits “to identify impactful efficiency improvements, such as installing LED fixtures or upgrading HVAC systems.”

“Cannabis cultivation business owners will then work with the Colorado Clean Energy Fund to secure low-interest financing to implement these improvements,” the release noted, citing the challenge of securing funding in the marijuana industry.

The initial application round will be for “cultivators who are seeking technical assistance and do not already have access to assistance through their utility providers,” according to the release.

Colorado marijuana cultivators who want to apply only for financing will be able to do so later in 2023.

“Colorado was the first state to legalize cannabis and now will be the first state to help licensed cultivation operators make their operation more energy efficient,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement.

“Providing innovative ways for cannabis cultivation operators to improve energy efficiency will save business owners money and reduce energy use in the industry.”

A webinar with more details about the program is scheduled for Feb. 15. Registration details are available here.