top of page
  • Christopher Smith, Editor-in-Chief

The Massive Embodied Energy of Cannabis Redevelopments

If the mainstream media is going to continue to smear the cannabis industry for all the energy used in indoor cultivations (instead of smearing the regulations that force us to do this) then they should also give us CREDIT for preserving the EMBODIED ENERGY old buildings.

My story starts from a headline in Green Entrepreneur.


The Mid-Orange Correctional Facility in Warwick, NY was once a federal prison that held men convicted of drug offenses and other crimes. The facility was targeted for closure in 2011... But instead of just shutting it down or knocking it down, “Green Thumb Industries will open a modern ‘cannabis campus’ “ … [that] will become an economic hub that manufactures high-quality cannabis products…”


All this sounds pretty groovy, but I’m going to argue that it’s also the most environmentally sustainable form of real estate development. Architect Carl Elefante famously said “The Greenest Building is the one already standing". Simply put, when we reuse old buildings, we keep carbon out of the atmosphere.

The energy used in construction is INCREDIBLE.


The cannabis industry is taking a lot of shit about energy use, and I say we deserve a little credit, too.

bottom of page