To the editor:
I was recently appointed to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission for my experience managing a regulated industry. After spending years on the Gaming Commission supporting the buildout of sustainable casinos, I was pleased to learn that this new agency already requires licensees to prioritize energy efficiency practices and tracks their efforts.
In fact, the commonwealth’s marijuana businesses comply with some of the nation’s strongest regulations in that regard.
A mandated energy and environment working group, chaired by my predecessor, led on these issues from day one.
Since then, the commission started collecting applicants’ energy and environmental data last July and requires licensees to critically assess opportunities to reduce energy use, optimize renewable energy generation, reduce electric demand, engage with energy efficiency programs, and more.
Our agency also incentivizes outdoor cultivation through expedited licensing review and reduced fees. Plus, all but the smallest indoor growers must keep lighting capped at 36 watts per square foot of canopy or utilize energy efficient Design Light Consortium equipment.
So, the commission has indeed heeded guidance about the commonwealth’s energy and environmental goals and will continue to collaborate with state partners to ensure marijuana businesses take ownership of Massachusetts’ progress.
After transitioning from one regulatory agency to another, I have noted certain similarities between gaming and cannabis. Beyond their obvious roles as job creators and economic drivers for Massachusetts, these new businesses must continue to innovate and comply with strong energy efficiency safeguards to reduce the state’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.
Cannabis Control Commission