Cannabis Resource Optimization Program (CROP)

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The Cannabis Resource Optimization Program (CROP) is finalizing its design phase and aims to formally launch soon. Please check back for updates regarding its official launch.

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Background

cannabis plants shown in an indoor grow operation under grow lights

According to the CEO’s 2018 Energy Use in the Colorado Cannabis Industry report, the energy burden associated with Colorado cannabis cultivation is significant, with an estimated 2% of electricity generated in the state being allocated to cultivation facilities. As a result of this electricity use and additional natural gas & propane use, energy expenditures make up an estimated 33% of cultivation business’ operating costs. However, significant energy cost saving and resource reduction opportunities exist through the implementation of resource efficiency measures.

To assist Colorado cannabis cultivation facilities in realizing these opportunities, CEO has developed the Cannabis Resource Optimization Program (CROP). The program is designed to provide eligible cannabis cultivation businesses with no-cost technical resource use and renewable energy assessments to better understand energy and water use drivers and cost-effective resource management opportunities.

As a follow up to this technical offering, CEO will partner with lending institutions to provide financing to help program participants implement identified efficiency measures.


Contact information

Please contact michael.a.turner@state.co.us with any programmatic questions.
 

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Process

Step 1: Determine program eligibility

Eligiblity requirements:

  • Cannabis cultivation facility registered with the State of Colorado
  • Cultivation facility who does not already have access to energy-specific technical assistance through its utility provider
    • Xcel Energy, Black Hills Energy, and Platte River Power Authority (Estes Park, Fort Collins, Longmont, & Loveland utilities) customers are not eligible but are encouraged to access their utility’s technical assistance offerings

Please note: The financing arm of CROP, which will offer low interest financing for resource efficiency retrofits, is only available to cultivators who have received technical assistance through the program at this time.

Step 2: Submit an application

To be determined.

Step 3: Gather information & schedule an assessment

The Colorado Energy Office will partner with a third party to execute the technical provisions of the CROP. Once you have been accepted into the program, a representative will contact you to schedule an assessment of your facilities to begin the audit process.

Collecting your operation’s historic resource usage data is a great first step, including (where applicable):

  • Electricity usage
  • Methane/gas usage
  • Propane usage
  • Water usage
  • Sewer usage

This data, coupled with the onsite visit, will allow our program partner to identify opportunities for efficiency improvements in your operations.

Step 4: Guided audit & report development

After conducting an audit of your cultivation operation’s resource usage, our technical partner will deliver a summary report of your facility. This report will detail current performance metrics of your facility, recommended efficiency measures along with projected resource usage and cost savings. 

Please Note: These resource audit reports may include renewable energy assessments as requested by program clients.

Step 5: Review financing options

Alongside your audit report, our technical partner will help you assess available financing options to pay for the implementation of identified efficiency measures. 

The Colorado Energy Office has partnered with the lenders to provide low cost financing for eligible projects. Other project financing mechanisms such as C-PACE and utility rebates will be assessed as well.

Step 6: Apply for funding

To be determined.

 

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Additional State Resources

You can find additional cannabis-specific sustainability information on the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment's Greening the Cannabis Industry webpage