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Canndescent gift boxEXPAND
Canndescent gift box
Courtesy Canndescent

Canndescent Completes the World’s First Commercial-Scale Solar Project in Cannabis

This is sponsored content presented by Canndescent.

Canndescent empowers adults to turn down the noise, unlock the moment and transform their lives with ultra-premium cannabis products. In 2015, the company became the first cannabis cultivator in the world to abandon traditional strain names and pioneer effects-based cannabis, selling its flowers under the names Calm, Cruise, Create, Connect and Charge, and it has been cementing its role as an industry trailblazer ever since. In 2016, the company opened the first municipally permitted facility in California. In 2017, Canndescent became California’s No. 1-selling flower brand. And in 2018, the company became the state’s No. 1-selling brand of luxury flower products.

So what’s next for the leading cultivator of ultra-premium cannabis? In 2019, Canndescent is charging toward the path of sustainability by completing the cannabis industry’s first commercial-scale solar project to power its indoor production facility in Desert Hot Springs. Delivering on-site, renewable energy, the 282.6-kilowatt system uses 734 solar modules on seven carport structures to energize the company’s historic cannabis production facility, which also earned attention in 2016 as California’s first municipally permitted operation. The state-of-the-art, clean-energy system offsets as much carbon annually as a 430-acre forest and reduces annual atmospheric carbon emissions by 365 metric tons (per NREL and EPA estimates).

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Solar panels powering Canndescent's operationsEXPAND
Solar panels powering Canndescent's operations
Courtesy Canndescent

The project currently produces enough power to charge an estimated 20 percent of U.S. smartphones for a day and highlights a potential path to divorce agriculture from many of its negative environmental impacts. Cultivating indoors with solar power, the project marries the crop turns and water efficiency associated with indoor, hydroponic cultivation and the energy efficiency found in other forms of cultivation. Historically, the cannabis industry has chosen between indoor, outdoor and greenhouse approaches. With the first-of-its-kind solar project, Canndescent creates a fourth choice it calls "greendoor," which unites water efficiency, energy efficiency and pesticide-free growing in an indoor format.

As the first cannabis company to power an at-scale, indoor cultivation project with renewable solar energy, Canndescent provides a critical template for sustainability in an industry where outdoor growers tax water resources and indoor and light-dependent greenhouse growers consume an estimated 1 percent of the electricity produced in the United States.

To accelerate adoption of solar power and greendoor practices within cannabis, Canndescent will release a white paper in 2019 sharing its solar project plans as open source. The company also has released a project video in both long and short versions.

Solar-powered growEXPAND
Solar-powered grow
Courtesy Canndescent

Aside from bridging traditional cultivation barriers, the solar-powered cannabis facility stands as a political iconoclast. It harmonizes the progressive themes of alternative energy and alternative medicine with the conservative theme of private enterprise, creating social impact in an Opportunity Zone. The company invested a combined $3.75 million to retrofit its 11,000-square-foot warehouse for solar and cannabis production and produces an estimated 10,000 pounds of boutique cannabis in a city where 34 percent of the population lives at or below the poverty line. Scott Matas, mayor of Desert Hot Springs, beamed, “Since inception, Canndescent has lifted up our community, contributing $500,000 in local cannabis taxes and creating 150 jobs. Adding renewable energy to what was the first cultivation project to open in the Coachella Valley, Canndescent continues to light a path for others to follow.”

Canndescent CEO Adrian Sedlin said, “We commissioned the solar project because the modern consumer deserves and demands that we create exceptional products using exceptional practices.” He added, “As an industry coming of age right now, it's natural and appropriate for the cannabis industry and Canndescent to lead business community in addressing some of the world’s pressing challenges.”

Municipal plaqueEXPAND
Municipal plaque
Courtesy Canndescent

Already exceeding the California Energy Commission’s requirement for new nonresidential buildings to have rooftop solar by 2023, Canndescent constructed the project in eight weeks after a two-year struggle to win project approval and financing. Canndescent’s chief compliance officer, Tom DiGiovanni, said, “Given the restrictions around cannabis banking and lending and the complexities of energy projects and California civil construction in general, this was extraordinarily difficult to pull off. Nevertheless, we got it done and have established a template for the ‘green industry’ to go greener.”

Canndescent has taken years to perfect its proprietary cultivation process, measuring eight different environmental factors customized by stage and strain to deliver expansive aromas, rich flavors and consistent experiences. Its cultivation process also implements a number of other environmentally friendly practices to marry its exceptional products with exceptional practices, including an integrated pest-management system utilizing all-natural non-pesticide practices; a computerized hydroponic water system to greatly reduce water usage; and natural energy from the 4,000-plus windmills in Palm Springs (an area that is almost 100 percent renewable). Canndescent also leverages products to aid in irrigation efficiency as well as experiments with LED lighting options for reduction in energy usage.

To learn more, visit canndescent.com.

Canndescent products are available for consumer purchase at leading dispensary and delivery services throughout California.

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