Since the state of Colorado made the growth, sale and consumption of marijuana legal at the beginning of 2014 the state economy has flourished and crime rates have gone down.
But how has the passing of Colorado Amendment 64 affected warehouses and their employees throughout the Rocky Mountain State?
According to a September 2 Associated Press article, despite initially putting a production cap on marijuana in place to prevent the crop from spreading into nearby states, a new proposal to raise the production cap threatens to put a struggle on the state’s warehouses that store the plant.
The proposal plans to increase the amount of marijuana that a producer can grow and sell, a move that would bring prices down from the almost $500 an ounce that resulted from a limited marijuana supply, the Associated Press reports.
Yet smaller marijuana producers balk at a proposal that would give larger producers’ warehouses the freedom to grow twice the number of plants that smaller producers’ greenhouses are permitted to grow — a maximum of 3,600 plants for warehouses versus just 1,800 for small, emerging growers’ greenhouses, according to the Associated Press.
In addition to being more dangerous for workers — the average warehouse forklift battery can weigh 2 tons and contains hazardous chemicals — marijuana-growing warehouses and their grow lights use significantly more energy than greenhouses, which rely on natural lighting. Some of the larger warehouses’ energy bills have entered the five-figure range, the Associated Press reports.
“The only person who is going to benefit is either the power companies, people who are renting warehouses or people who have built huge growing warehouses,” Thomas Killeen, a greenhouse grower from Colorado Springs, told the Associated Press.
Ultimately, these proposals will have to be approved or rejected by Barbara Brohl, head of Colorado’s Department of Revenue — and Brohl has no deadline to make a decision.