CANNAINVESTOR Magazine January / February 2017 - Page 79

79

Water - It is essential that the water rights associated with any property slated for the production of cannabis are understood. Is the property on which the production facility lies suitable in terms of water needed to serve the projected demand? Is that water source reliable? Are there risks to the water supply associated with climate change, regulation, or price fluctuations? Is rainwater harvesting feasible? What are the facility’s practices in regard to runoff and discharge? Is water efficiency taken seriously among management? Finally, is proper filtration in place to ensure highest value input to the plant?

Although this is a relatively short list of considerations,due diligence in this these areas should be extremely helpful in discerning the extent to which cultivators really understand the challenges ahead. These, and many more issues, are starting to be tracked by organizations such as Resource Innovation Institute (RII), a non-profit partner to the cannabis industry on issues related to resource efficiency and profitability. I sit on the board of RII as part of my commitment to efficiency in my own business, and as a way to support other founders and investors in making smart choices that will lead to more profitable, and more sustainable companies in the future. We will soon make available the Competitive Facility Checklist, which is a guide for resource-efficient design, construction, and maintenance of cannabis cultivation operations. This will serve as a great tool for investors who realize the importance of these questions but could use some help validating scaleable and sustainable cultivation plans that they are considering for an investment. Other affiliations and certifications that can further demonstrate a company's approach to efficiency and brand awareness are The Ethical Cannabis Alliance, The Clean Green Certification, and Certified Kind.

The important thing to understand is that we have gotten used to thinking about sustainability as a cost, which can be a turnoff to investors who have witnessed expensive attempts to adapt existing systems and models in order to be more resource efficient. Cannabis is different, we are building the industry from the ground up. Resource efficiency will separate the winners from the losers in what will ultimately be a highly competitive commodities market. This time it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the smarter way to invest.

Co-Authored by

Sara Batterby - CEO Hifi Farms

Derek Smith - ED Resource Innovation Institute