Anderson Porter Design and its partners assist cannabis operators with facility optimization, energy efficiency, increased yields, and state regulation compliance.

[Article by Brian Anderson]

As US states come online for cannabis projects, there is patchwork of regulations to navigate. Some States stand out with their focus on areas such as energy and water use conservation, sustainability, and overall resource efficiency. Massachusetts, for example, has implemented strict lighting and energy efficiency regulations along with compliance guidelines.

There are multiple factors to consider when planning both new anexisting facilities. 

There are regulatory incentives from the States, and financial incentives from the utility providers for cannabis facilities that drive sustainability and reduce carbon emissions in the face climate change and increased demand for power.  Massachusetts has written into the law one such bonus. Mass offers what is called Leadership Rating Program with a category for an Energy and Environmental LeaderWithin this program, each facility has to demonstrate and document that it is compliant with the regulations on a yearly basis. This information will be analyzed and, if needed, the entity will be held accountable and this can vary from a series of fines, disciplinary action, to even major facility upgrades.  

The graphic above illustrates an indoor cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facility ‘exploded’ into multiple key parts. 

By analyzing each of the facility’s elements and documenting the entities’ KPIs we can optimize and drive down cost of the various inputs, labor efficiency, utility energy, water, and consumables. 

Here, technology is leveraged to collect data thru micro-sensors, which can be analyzed and aggregated to point out areas for optimization and to increase performance. Data loggers placed in soil, water, plant canopy, atmosphere, and light output can all be tied to the Building Automation System (BAS) or Building Management System (BMS) and tuned depending upon desired targets and outputs.