The state of Colorado is aiming to make its marijuana industry more eco-friendly by recycling breweries’ carbon dioxide.
Colorado’s health department and energy office launched two new pilot programs this week that are focused on reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency at local cultivations.
“We want this to be a model in craft brewing and cannabis,” Gov. Jared Polis has said.
Polis has a mission to cut greenhouse gasses 50% by 2030.
In one program, the Carbon Dioxide Reuse Project, the Denver Beer Co. is partnering with the Clinic dispensary to recycle carbon emissions.
Brewing a 120-barrel batch of beer produces enough carbon dioxide naturally through fermentation to fill a 500-pound vessel, said Charlie Berger, the co-founder of Denver Beer Co.
The company will use a carbon-capturing machine developed by Austin-based Earthly Labs and plans to provide its CO2 to the Clinic, which will, in turn, use it to stimulate plant growth at its cultivation operations.
“We’re very serious about reducing our emissions,” said Polis. “We will leave no stone unturned, no beer tank unturned, no cannabis plant unturned in the climate effort because it’s that important.”
According to Amy George, the founder and CEO of Earthly Labs, Denver Beer Co. expects to recycle more than 150,000 pounds of carbon dioxide using the technology.
“This could be a road map for not only Colorado businesses, but for the nation,” George said.
“It starts here, but sky’s the limit,” Polis said. “We want this to be a model in craft brewing and cannabis.”