Cannabis Production Expert Discusses Energy Use With TO Star

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Prof. Youbin Zheng

Prof. Youbin Zheng, School of Environmental Studies, spoke to the Toronto Star about what’s needed to make cannabis production more energy efficient.

A new study by Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator finds that the electricity used by the expanding cannabis industry is expected to rise by 1,250 percent over the next five years. One of the biggest draws on hydro will be for the intensive lighting that’s needed to grow cannabis indoors.

Prof. Zheng commented that energy-efficient LED lighting shows promise in pot production because they can produce different colours that can be adjusted to maximize the growth of cannabis, but the jury is still out on its effectiveness.

Zheng researches cannabis production in greenhouse and hydroponics settings, and has co-authored several groundbreaking papers on the topic.