After its recent regional expansion into the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) has set its sights on another area of growth with Low Carbon Cannabis Canada. The initiative’s main goal will be to reduce the budding industry’s carbon footprint.
Ontario residents will soon have access to legal cannabis, but a rapid expansion of greenhouse-grown marijuana could be a drag on the province’s emission reduction efforts, experts warn. While consumption of the plant material only releases previously captured atmospheric carbon, natural gas or electrically-heated greenhouses cause significant carbon emissions during the production.
The U.S. state of Colorado provides a cautionary tale as its electricity usage grew by two per cent after legalization. Similarly, cannabis-related emissions in Canada could blow up as other provinces follow Ontario’s lead.
To counter this risk, TAF plans a joint pan-Canadian initiative with growers, provincial governments, and former police chiefs to ensure Canadians can get high on low-emissions marijuana. The initiative aims to experiment and share best practices that lower cannabis cultivation emissions, e.g. through the use of solar power and battery backup. With some details still being hashed out, Low Carbon Cannabis Canada will formally launch on April 20.
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