New Colorado program uses beer brewing to grow weed and prevent climate change

by Nick Gonzales

Here at DGO, we’re rather fond of both beer and weed. And now, the two recreational intoxicants are working together to save the Earth, something else to which we’ve grown rather attached.

Late last month, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis unveiled two pilot programs designed to reduce emissions that contribute to climate change, the Denver Business Journal reported.

One program, the Carbon Dioxide Reuse Pilot Project, captures carbon dioxide produced by the brewing process and releases it in cannabis greenhouses. If you remember back to elementary school, plants (such as cannabis) use carbon dioxide, water, and light to photosynthesize, creating glucose and breathable oxygen as a byproduct – a much better use for the CO2 than letting it escape into the atmosphere where it will only help hasten our eventual demise.

The two companies involved in the pilot project are Denver Beer Co., the seventh-largest craft brewery in the state, and The Clinic, a Denver-based cannabis company. The project is being overseen by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and it is using technology developed by Earthly Labs in Austin, Texas.

The other program is called the Colorado Cultivators Energy Management Program and involves electric cooperatives and municipal utilities providing cannabis growers with no-cost technical energy-use assessments, so they can better understand what parts of the cannabis-cultivation business drive energy usage.

That latter program is equally good, but nowhere near as interesting – on a basic level – as the first one. Nonetheless, we hope both pilot programs work out and are able to be rolled out across the beer and cannabis industries, helping sustain the only planet we know of that produces either.

Nick Gonzales


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