The sustainability of cannabis growth comes into question again because of the amount of energy consumed in order to make it. Rules and taxes have been made to encourage cannabis growers to find ways of generating their own power. However, an organization, Resource Innovation Institute is holding a conference to talk about it called the Agriculture Energy Solutions Conference.

Key Takeaways:

  • A group of leaders within the cannabis industry is meeting together in San Diego to talk about how to stem the use of power as it relates to producing cannabis.
  • Energy consumption from the production of the plant has been high which has caused taxes and other incentives to try to get companies to produce their own power.
  • Several people are scheduled to speak on a wide range of topics within the cannabis industry as well as the power consumption problem.

Quote: “Key considerations are the carbon and energy implications of indoor controlled environments. Drawing from the experiences of early models, the conference objective was to explore energy solutions for all forms of indoor agriculture but a core focus for good reason was on the exponentially growing cannabis sector and the implications of increased energy demands and use.” (Miller, 2020)

Link to article:
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/global-warming-meets-indoor-agriculture-162526718.html

80 Acres Farms is growing produce as part of an art show in New York. It is on one of the busiest streets, Fifth Avenue. It will grow tomatoes continuously for the next six months. New Yorkers will be able to look in on the crop during the exhibition which will run through August. It is another step towards indoor gardening/farming as a mainstay of crop production in the future.

Key Takeaways:

  • 80 Acres Farm is producing crops of tomatoes for an art show in New York.
  • The crops will grow continuously for six months until the end of the exhibition in August.
  • The production of tomatoes will be visible on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

Quote: “For the Guggenheim exhibition, 80 Acres Farms, Infinite Acres, and its Priva partners have collaborated on the 700-square-foot grow center, which is expected to grow 50,000 tomatoes in six months. ” (Schwartzberg, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.journal-news.com/news/hamilton-acres-farms-grow-tons-tomatoes-new-york-city-fifth-avenue/tlJWQYQ5R7giNTSgDO80aP/

A new indoor growing facility has caught the attention of some in Long Island. It is a business growing produce and it is named Urban Fields Agriculture. It is part of a movement that is starting to gain traction and that is indoor farming and gardening techniques. It is using hydroponic growing methods to grow its wares. The owner used to grow at home with 15 plants. He is set up to grow 1800 plants now thanks to good stewardship of his business.

Key Takeaways:

  • Indoor farming/gardening is an emerging technique that is gaining more and more traction and attention.
  • Urban Fields Agriculture has grown from an in-home 15 plant venture to one that is growing 1800 plants.
  • It uses hydroponic techniques to grow its produce.

“The farm is carefully curated and controlled through lighting, humidity and temperature. There are seeds that sprout in a controlled environment (mostly with humidity levels) and then are moved to a larger bed to grow to full size. ” (Long Island Advance, 2020)

Link to article:

http://www.longislandadvance.net/stories/theres-a-new-farm-in-town-and-its-indoors,85263

New products are being released all the time to help people grow their own food or other recreational plants. One aims at being helping high-class people enter the hydroponic growing world while not doing very much. It is designed to be filled with water once a week and then it follows the recipe for whatever you tell the app. It also reminds an owner when to prune if necessary. It does not allow much room for the craftsmanship of the product since it follows set recipes and schedules an owner would tell it to follow.

Key Takeaways:

  • The world of indoor growing is moving more and more towards automation every day.
  • A consumer item is aimed at the high-end clientele. The machine eliminates most of the work by following a recipe put forth via selection in the app.
  • The user does not have to do much more than add water once a week and follow the app’s instructions on when to prune the plant if necessary.

Quote: “All you have to do is add seeds, water, and nutrients, then select the appropriate “grow recipe” on the app.” (Futurism Creative, 2020)

Link to article:

https://futurism.com/grobo-automated-grow-box

A fire that burned a downtown Eugene building was allegedly caused by an enthusiast of marijuana making hash oil. It is illegal to use butane to extract cannabis. It is legal if the person has a license from the OLCC as a recreational processor. They also have to be licensed by OHA specifically as a medical processor with the state.

Key Takeaways:

  • A man allegedly attempted to make hash oil.
  • The attempt may have caused a building in downtown Eugene to catch fire.
  • There are other ways of extraction that are safer and should have been used instead.

“Over the years, there have been many hash oil incidents that have led to serious injuries. In 2017, Eric Scully was sentenced to seven years in prison for setting a storage facility on fire when he was making butane hash oil.” (Dendy, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.kezi.com/content/news/Dispensary-owner-provides-insight-about-hash-oil-567957551.html

Cheviot plays host to an indoor farm using aquaponics techniques to grow its wares. However, not only is it using fish to grow produce twice as much produce in half the time, but it is also employing adults with disabilities.

Key Takeaways:

  • An indoor farm in Cheviot, Ohio is using fish and hydroponics to grow produce twice as much and in half the time through a technique called aquaponics.
  • It also is using a company that hires adults with disabilities to harvest the greens.
  • It has been open since 2018 and provides those greens to local restaurants.

Quote: “By growing indoors, the facility is wheelchair accessible and climate controlled. Kevin Potts, executive director of the Ken Anderson Alliance, says the aquaponics system allows them to grow twice as much produce as an outdoor farm in half the time.” (Monks, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.wvxu.org/post/aquaponics-garden-doing-good-community#stream/0

Photo from:

https://www.wvxu.org/sites/wvxu/files/styles/medium/public/202002/Untitled.jpg

(Josh Elstro/WVXU)

Growing produce from inside a grocery store is becoming more and more popular thanks to indoor gardening methods. The method has been in use since 2013, in stores, and now is reaching America’s shores in places like Kroger. Kroger has placed these farms inside of their businesses in Seattle. The difficulty has always been the overhead costs of maintaining and keeping the farm going while making a profit. New upstarts like InFarm and Babylon say that they have systems that should do just that in the future.

Key Takeaways:

  • More and more indoor gardens are being put into retailers’ stores to lessen the mileage between farms and a consumer’s plate.
  • The method has been active overseas since 2013.
  • Kroger installed a few of these in stores in Seattle and it remains to be seen if the venture will be profitable.

Quote: “Some, like Kroger and Whole Foods, have taken that step by bringing high-tech produce farms into their aisles — a budding movement that’s made possible by advancements in growing technology.” (Wells, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.grocerydive.com/news/for-in-store-farms-to-succeed-finding-the-right-balance-is-key/570619/

Photo from:

https://www.grocerydive.com/user_media/cache/4e/a5/4ea5d0d26a7c79029a306190805fa3bc.jpg

Retirement communities are making use of indoor gardens to engage their residents. The residents are distant at first but then show signs of excitement later. Eldergrow, the program, has 45 gardens running in 31 communities. It has been running for five months in Washington thanks to a state grant.

Key Takeaways:

  • A retirement community has a new program where residents are taught to care for indoor growing gardens.
  • Eldergrow is running 45 gardens in 31 communities.
  • Residents are distant in the beginning but show excitement after a while.

Quote: “When residents are first introduced to the activities, she said they are typically distant at first, needing encouragement, until someone breaks the ice. She said she can always tell the gardener in the room and she often says to people, “I can tell you were a gardener.”
Then the flood gates open and their excitement is contagious, she said.” (DeFord, 2020)

Link to article:

www.mi-reporter.com/news/growing-smiles/

Photo from:

https://5rc2p30bcfo2jn4j03o4nhl1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/20391553_web1_M-Eldergrow-MIR-200205.jpg

The nature of the indoor growing of Cannabis has affected the energy grid more than expected. The legal and illegal growing industries are using more energy than Starbucks by 2.7 billion kilowatts per hour. States and cities are scrambling to make tax rules that will account for the use of energy in their areas. They are doing this by targeting homes that are using a lot of power. For example, Arcata, California has instituted a tax where homes spending more than $700 of energy face a 45 percent tax on electricity.

Key Takeaways:

  • The cannabis industry is using 4.1 billion kilowatts per hour. Starbucks, in comparison, is using 1.7 billion kWh.
  • A single joint of cannabis is equal to a 100 watt light bulb that has run for 17 hours straight.
  • States are now trying to target the industry via taxes to try to make up the energy usage in a variety of ways including a 45 percent tax on residential homes using more than 700 dollars of electricity.

Quote: “A report by New Frontier Data found that legal and illegal cannabis cultivation combined uses almost three times the amount of electricity as the entire Starbucks Corp, with cannabis consuming 4.1 billion kilowatts per hour (KWh) compared with Starbucks using only 1.7 billion KWh, which is still a huge amount of energy. The legal cannabis industry uses around 1.1 million megawatts per hour per year, which is sufficient enough to power 92,500 homes.” (Holley, 2020)

Link to article:

www.theleafdesk.com/the-truth-behind-the-cannabis-industrys-energy-problem/

Photo from:

www.theleafdesk.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/energy-consumption-2-1000×667.jpg

An innovative program is teaching kids with disabilities about the advantages of indoor farming while keeping costs down for the school cafeteria. Although, these are only some of the benefits the program is building as social skills and making good nutritional choices are also being taught in the program.

Key Takeaways:

  • The crops are harvested every two weeks.
  • vThe yield is 70 bowls of salad.
  • It only takes 20 days to harvest from start to finish.

Quote: “The garden, a dozen trays in a special, stainless steel shelving unit inside the school, include basil and a few varieties of lettuce. Students with intellectual disabilities in the district’s prevocational program plant the seeds, water regularly, harvest, and mix the compost.” (Bosma, 2020)

Link to article:

https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20200121/milford-students-with-disabilities-grow-lettuce-indoors-for-high-school-salad-bar