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Illinois Energy and Water Use Standards for Cannabis Cultivation Set to Pioneer Midwest Market

Becky Oberg

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Illinois Energy and Water Use Standards for Cannabis Cultivation Set to Pioneer Midwest Market
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Stringent energy efficiency rules have been implemented for cannabis growers in Illinois, per a new state law signed by Governor J.B. Prizker. The law limits how much water and energy growers are permitted to use, and it further establishes requirements concerning wastewater and water runoff.

Representative Cassidy (D-Chiago) stated:

“This is a high-resource-use industry, and it doesn’t have to be. Illinois can show the way to do it in a better way.” He added, “It definitely puts Illinois at or near the top in terms of state policies for energy and environmental performance for cultivation facilities.”

Additionally, growers are required to use high-efficiency HVAC equipment that features specific specifications depending on the facility type, they must also use automatic watering systems, and lights that are approved by DesignLabs consortium.

Research Innovation Institute Executive Director Derek Smith said in a public statement:

“For all stakeholders to achieve their objectives in this scenario, we need to recognize the situation for what it is. It is hyper-accelerated market transformation. This industry is essentially going from a shadow high-margin economy to a highly regulated market suffering shockwaves of cost compression while it scales globally overnight without any handbook. Installation of efficient technologies is on the rise, yet our research indicates that few facility operators know how to optimize their efficiency. Every supply chain company I speak to is telling me that they need more data. Over time we can set additional standards and targets based on what the data are telling us. For now, states should focus on getting the right mix of guidance and support, like Massachusetts and Illinois have done.”

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