Marijuana cultivator’s CO2 partnership with craft beer brewer saves money, makes MJ firm more eco-friendly
Published 3 hours ago | By Margaret Jackson
Two of Colorado’s most high-profile industries – cannabis and beer – recently joined forces under a state-supported pilot project aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s cheaper – about a 10th of the cost – for cannabis businesses to buy carbon dioxide (CO2) from craft beer companies rather than a commercial CO2 distributor that charges more per pound and requires them to lease its equipment.
Using CO2 recaptured at a brewery also demonstrates social responsibility by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
With equipment it purchased from Austin, Texas-based Earthly Labs, Colorado craft brewery Denver Beer Co. is recapturing CO2 it emits during the brewing process and selling it to Denver dispensary chain The Clinic, a vertically integrated cannabis company, to use in its cultivation process. “We’re creating a CO2 exchange market,” said Kaitlin Urso, environmental protection specialist for the small-business assistance program at the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division.
“Instead of treating CO2 as a waste, this is a new way for both businesses to think about it as a commodity.”
CO2 is among the most dangerous and common greenhouse gases, and many environmental experts point to its buildup as the primary cause of global climate change.
With Earthly Labs’ technology, Denver Beer can capture more than 100,000 pounds of CO2 a year.
The legal marijuana industry uses carbon dioxide to grow cannabis in a condensed time span and increase yields.