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Cannabis Panelists Discuss Market Insights, Regulations, and Standards

Bottom Line: The cannabis and hemp industries spent an estimated $6 billion on energy last year, giving the propane industry an opportunity for significant market development.

Recently, a panel of experts – including Blue Star Gas President Jeff Stewart, Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS) President Lezli Engelking, and NPGA Senior Technical Director Bruce Swiecicki – provided insight into the cannabis and hemp industries’ financial potential as well as challenges.

Stewart noted there is a high risk and reward to propane companies serving the cannabis market, noting it’s common to see an operation use between 10,000-25,000 gallons per year for applications including power generation, hot water heaters, space heaters, and carbon dioxide generation.

Engelking said these markets are growing. She reported the cannabis industry is energy-intensive, with cultivators spending an estimated $6 billion on energy in 2020.

And NPGA is at the front line of developing regulations to benefit the cannabis and propane industries. Swiecicki and NPGA Manager of Regulatory Affairs Twana Aiken are serving on the newly created NFPA 420 Cannabis Committee, which will provide requirements to address the unique challenges at cannabis growing and processing facilities. Currently, codes in place for cannabis processing facilities include the International Fire Code and NFPA 1 Fire Code.

Questions about this market? Contact NPGA’s Twana Aiken or see the “Regulatory” section of NPGA’s Member Dashboard for resources regarding this market.