Cannabis and beer, two of Colorado’s most popular products, are participating in a program that will provide a roadmap for both industries to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their production.
Two pilot projects, being launched in partnership with Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Energy Office, will focus on energy usage and environmental responsibility in the cannabis and beer industries.
The innovative Carbon Dioxide Reuse Pilot Project involves capturing carbon dioxide emitted during the beer brewing process and using it in cannabis cultivation.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis joined with the CDPHE and the Energy Office to launch of the program.
The joint endeavor will enable beer makers to capture the CO2 byproduct produced by yeast during beer fermentation, and then literally ship it to cannabis growers. Carbon dioxide helps stimulate plant growth during cultivation.
“This concept is simple. By capturing carbon dioxide produced in the beer brewing process and using it to cultivate cannabis, we are helping two industries succeed, reducing emissions that are contributing to our climate emergency,” Gov. Polis said at a press conference on Jan. 29, 2020 when announcing the launch of the plan.
The program fills a need for several of the state’s important industries, the governor explained.
“These pilot programs combine a few of the things that Colorado is known for: environmental responsibility, craft beer, and cannabis,” Gov. Polis said in a Tweet. “I applaud our state agencies and private partners for working together on these innovative programs to help protect the Colorado way of life.”
The other pilot program, Colorado Cultivators Energy Management, will coordinate with municipal utilities and electric cooperatives to provide no-cost assistance to grow facilities for decreasing their energy consumption.
Who will be involved?
The Clinic will receive cleaner CO2 than it receives from its current provider, which ships it across the country from the East Coast, according to The Clinic CEO, Max Cohen.
They will use technology created by Earthly Labs, which seeks to capture up to 100,000 pounds of CO2 per year from Denver Beer and transport it to The Clinic.
“Earthly Labs’ vision is to capture and avoid 1 billion metric tons of CO2,” said Amy George, CEO and founder of Earthly Labs.
“The State of Colorado is leading the charge in the country to promote small scale carbon capture investment to meet their 2030 goals. We are thrilled to help these industry pioneers reduce costs, drive innovation, and improve the quality of life in Colorado,” Ms. George added.
First of its kind
CDPHE’s Carbon Dioxide Reuse Pilot Project is the first of its kind to establish the commercial exchange of recovered carbon dioxide. The exchange fills a need for both industries while reducing carbon dioxide emissions in Colorado.