Cultivation

New LED mandate would devastate California cannabis quality

Photos: Alien Labs

The cannabis industry has a limited time to weigh in on a California Energy Commission proposal to force new energy efficiency standards for indoor lighting used in horticulture.

While LEDs are certainly the future, so is a Mars colony. We have a lot of the hardware we would need to get there right now, sure, but those final steps are clearly at least a little bit in the future. The same can be said for the promise of LED. Yes, everyone is hopeful those final quality hurdles will be jumped in the not-too-distant future, but in the meantime, fixtures that use high pressure sodium lights are what the best pot in the world is being grown under.

If people aren’t allowed to use HPS lights to grow their weed, the quality potential of cannabis in the California legal marketplace will be artificially capped by the five utility companies that bankrolled the report proposing the new change.

What is the actual change? Proposed changes to the energy code, which historically only covered commercial and industrial buildings, would expand the code to include indoor and greenhouse horticultural operations over 1,000 square feet in size. This move would impact conventional agriculture, cannabis and hemp.

One of the people attempting to rally the industry to take action against the proposal is Bob Gunn. After working for 13 years in the utility sector, Gunn founded Seinergy in 2015 to help the cannabis industry deal with utility regulators.

“I started hearing about the California Energy Commission looking at energy code for horticulture lighting last year,” Gunn told L.A. Weekly. “The first time it really came up was a a utility conference – you know, utility people talking about cannabis energy use.”

Gunn argues one of the things pushing California to take action is watching other states make moves to regulate the industry’s total power load on the grid. “So, I started to hear about Massachusetts starting to regulate. They put in 36 watts per square foot, which is annoying. Illinois did something very similar. And then California saying, well we need to kind of, you know, whack down the energy use somehow,” he said.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Jimi Devine on LA Weekly

Published: December 09, 2020

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