It’s no secret...producing cannabis doesn’t come without a strain on the environment. As more states move towards legalization, the industry faces growing pressure to become more sustainable. With stringent regulations and operational codes looming over daily operations, are there sustainable solutions that cannabis companies can adopt? Get a behind-the-scenes peek at real-world hurdles and hear about progress underway to bring more sustainable business practices to the cannabis industry.
Best Practices: Energy, waste, water, design
Kyle Lisabeth has focused his career on developing strategies and programs that enhance water use and reuse efforts. He has been involved with several domestic and international ventures focused on industrial, municipal, and agricultural applications. His personal time equally supports conservation and environmental sustainability efforts related to river and watershed management.Kyle joined Silver Bullet Water Treatment in 2016 as a member of the company’s research and develop team. As Silver Bullet expanded, Kyle established Silver Bullet’s Horticulture Division. Upon being appointed to the position of Silver Bullet’s Director of Operations and Business Development for the Horticulture industry, Kyle has exponentially grown the business unit’s install base, product portfolio and service offerings, as well as cultivated a nationally known water treatment brand for many controlled environment agriculture applications. His extensive knowledge and field experience in treated water for agriculture applications has led to Kyle becoming a leading voice in the industry, spurred research partnerships with Colorado State University, established collaboration with state regulatory bodies and industry organizations to establish regional Best Management Practices, and solidified relationships with several national and regional-based cannabis and leafy greens companies. Kyle attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a BS in Biology and Environmental Sciences. Lisabeth gained years of international water management experience on projects involving the treatment and reuse of municipal wastewater in the United States and Mexico, supervising agricultural wastewater treatment and beneficial reuse applications, and overseeing the treatment of water in the oil and gas market. Kyle volunteers with several non-profit urban farms and alternative gardening programs in the Front Range region of Colorado. In his free time, Kyle enjoys guiding whitewater trips and traveling with his wife.
Nick Collins, PE, is the Associate Director of ERS’s Maine office. He is a professional engineer licensed in Maine. His areas of expertise include the monitoring and verification of energy efficiency projects and the analysis of energy efficiency and demand-limiting measures. Nick has been on the delivery team implementing Efficiency Maine programs for the past 12 years. He has led numerous impact evaluations of utility and program administrator incentive programs. For the past six years Nick has applied his expertise to the indoor cannabis cultivation industry where he has audited dozens of facilities, performed scoping audits, detailed technical reviews, and ground-breaking measurement and verification activities on indoor facilities throughout the Northeast and Colorado. Nick authored a cannabis baseline study for the Massachusetts Program Administrators and is leading research into cultivation facility practices and efficiency opportunities in Illinois for ComEd. He has been presenting these findings and training other professionals on the topic of energy use and efficiency in indoor cannabis cultivation at conferences across the country. He has published papers and presented with ACEEE, IEPEC, IEC, KEEA, NESEA, and EUCI. Prior to joining ERS, Nick was a project manager in construction management on projects including Gillette Stadium, Terminal A at Logan Airport, and the Walker Art Building renovation and expansion at Bowdoin College.
Sustainability has been a passion of Brandon’s since entering the cannabis industry over five years ago. During that time, he has participated in numerous committees, panels and symposiums with great minds in the world of cannabis and sustainability. This experience includes being an active member of the Denver Cannabis Sustainability Work Group, as well as the Marijuana Enforcement Division’s Sustainability and Science + Policy Work Group. Brandon also chairs Native Roots’ internal Sustainability Committee. In recent years, those efforts have contributed to Native Roots receiving sustainability awards from MJBizCon and the Cannabis Sustainability Symposium. Additionally, Brandon received the 2020 Commuter of the Year Award from the Denver Regional Council of Governments for launching and promoting the Way to Go program throughout the Native Roots organization. With the enthusiastic support of Native Roots, Brandon continues to explore opportunities for sustainable strategies, technologies and partnerships as they evolve in the cannabis marketplace.
Ms. Spence earned her J.D. from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law where she was an executive board member of both the Water Law Review and the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Society. She participated in the first Transatlantic University Collaboration in Climate Change and Energy Law program funded by the European Union. During law school, Rebecca interned with the Colorado Water Trust, National Young Farmers Coalition, Federal Highway Administration, Gablehouse Granberg, and PanTheryx, Inc. Additionally, she served as a Co-Director of Environmental Law and Policy for the 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Blockchain for Sustainable Development, where she conducted sustainability reports for blockchain businesses. Now, as an Associate Attorney at The Rodman Law Group, Ms. Spence specializes in advising businesses operating in the cannabis, hemp, and CBD spaces.