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The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a workshop to examine the increase in electricity demand that may be expected from increased cannabis cultivation in California on Feb. 28 in San Francisco.

According to a 2012 study conducted when medical cannabis was legal in California but recreational cannabis was still prohibited, indoor cannabis cultivation is responsible for about three percent of California’s electricity consumption, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 1 million California homes.

On Nov. 8, California voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational use of cannabis by adults. Given the electricity use attributable to cannabis cultivation noted above, an increase in cannabis cultivation may be a significant driver of electricity consumption in California.

According to the CPUC release, other states have experienced an increase in electricity demand after legalizing recreational cannabis. For example, half of load growth in Colorado is now attributable to new cannabis cultivation. The workshop is designed to explore the opportunities for ensuring that expected load growth associated with cannabis cultivation in California is consistent with California’s clean energy goals.

After the workshop, CPUC staff will issue a report summarizing the workshop and making recommendations for the CPUC’s consideration.

The first panel at 1:15 p.m. will explore “Energy Impacts in Other States After Recreational Legalization” with guest speakers John C. Morris, vice president, market development for D+R International and co-founder/board secretary of the Resource Innovation Institute; Alex Cooley, co-founder of Solstice and National Cannabis Industry board member; David Montgomery, consulting energy management engineer, Puget Sound Energy and Jacob Policzer, president of The Cannabis Conservancy.

The second panel at 3 p.m. will discuss “Cannabis Cultivation in California: Challenges and Opportunities” with speakers Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association;

Kristin Nevedal, program director of Americans for Safe Access and board member of the California Cannabis Industry Association; Nick Caston, vice president of public affairs and policy at Cannacraft;

Amber Morris, branch chief at Calcannabis Cultivation Licensing, California Department of Food and Agriculture and Cody Coeckelenbergh, director of program services at Lincus Energy.

The workshop begins with a welcome at 1 p.m. and closes after public comment at 5:15 p.m.

The event will take place at the CPUC Auditorium, 505 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco, and will also be available in real-time and archived via video webcast at: www.californiaadmin.com/cpuc.shtml.

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