Running a cannabis company is not easy. The conflicting federal and state laws have affected both companies and patients alike and the situation is perhaps worsening with the dilemma of legalizing recreational cannabis.
Consider, for instance, Canndescent, the luxury cannabis company, which had to go through a number of ordeals just to get the finance required to set up a 286 kW solar-power facility for their 11,000-square-foot growing facility.
Since cannabis is federally illegal, no bank was willing to provide them loans nor could they make use of federal investment tax credit. So, in order to secure a loan, Canndescent chief financial officer Tom DiGiovanni approached financial institutions that consider them ‘property owners’ and not just a cannabis company.
Once the loan was approved, Canndescent worked with the installation company Palomar Solar to design its system. Since fire codes didn’t allow for solar panels on the roof of Canndescent’s growing facility, they built parking shelters measuring 1,360 square feet that could hold 734 panels. Besides supplying 5,00,000 kilowatt-hours of energy/year, the solar panel structures provide shade to the sides of the growing facility.
Notably, indoor marijuana production facilities consume around 1% of the US’s energy supply annually. In addition, they emit over 14 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, even after all these drawbacks, the marijuana facilities have to go through such hardships, even if they want to do something positive for the environment.
According to DiGiovanni, financing will remain an obstacle with all the large-scale cannabis companies until marijuana is legalized at the federal level. However, the way things are going, legalization of even medical cannabis federally looks like a distant dream.
If the government takes into consideration the aforementioned drawbacks of illegal marijuana, legalization reforms can be brought in a little earlier than expected.