Resource Innovation Institute: Advancing Resource Efficiency to Create a Better Cannabis Future

    Resource Innovation Institute to Release Best Practices Guides for Cannabis Growers at MJBizCon Vegas

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    The cannabis industry has now grown to the point that cultivators are facing cost and scale pressures that require them to operate their production facilities more efficiently. Resource Innovation Institute assembled some of the most experienced voices for its Technical Advisory Council, and has created a comprehensive set of standards for cannabis growers in the areas of lighting and HVAC systems. The advice in their Guides is also relevant to the cultivation of other crops grown in controlled environments. The Guides will be released at MJBizCon Vegas’ Associations Day, Tuesday, December 10, 2019, at 3:00pm. The availability will be followed by MJBizCon Association Day’s cocktail reception, located at Room N203; Las Vegas Convention Center; 3150 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

    Included on the panel will be:

    Derek Smith, Executive Director, Resource Innovation Institute

    Matt Gaboury, Master Cultivator (Oregon)

    Corinne Wilder, Director, Global Business Operations, Fluence by OSRAM (Texas)

    Laura Breit, CEO, Root Engineers (Oregon)

    Keith Coursin, President, Desert Aire (Wisconsin)

    Mike Zartarian, Principal, Zartarian Engineering (Massachusetts)

    Shane Schmitt, GM/Founder, Wy’east Oregon Gardens (Oregon)

    Nadia Sabeh, Ph.D., President, Dr. Greenhouse (California)

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    Derek Smith, executive director of RII, has over 4 years of experience in cannabis sustainability

     NUGL spoke to Derek Smith, the executive director of RII, about what he hopes to accomplish with the organization and event. Derek’s background includes working in sustainability in multiple other sectors before coming to cannabis four years ago. As he tells us, that helped establish the conversation around best standards and practices in cannabis. “We had a really strong sense borrowing from other industries; creating a facilitated conversation around best practices which are coming from different perspectives is really a critical piece of the maturation of an industry.” The industry-wide need also led to collaboration between professionals who may otherwise be competing for the same business. “We were really excited to pull together cultivators, engineers, architects, and manufacturers on group calls where competitors are actually striving for the same goal, which is about the cultivator; what does the cultivator need and what can help the cultivator understand how to make better choices to use less energy as they produce a great quality product.” Derek is hoping that their 20-page guide, and the discussions they host and incubate, lead to better all-around industry and standard. “The aim is to kick off the process of creating a culture of best practice in the industry that is open and transparent, data-driven, and science based.”

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    Photo by Taofeek Obafemi-Babatunde 

    Resource Innovation Institute (RII) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance resource efficiency to create a better agricultural future. Founded in 2016 in Portland, OR, USA, RII’s Board of Directors includes the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a former Energy Policy Advisor to two Oregon governors, a former board member of the US Green Building Council and leading cannabis industry players. The organization has unique expertise in data, policy, and education related to energy use in controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Its Cannabis PowerScore benchmarking tool is backed by the world’s largest dataset on CEA energy use. RII’s Technical Advisory Council is the leading multi-disciplinary body assessing the environmental impacts and best practices associated with cultivation resource issues. In 2018, RII advised the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on the establishment of the world’s first cannabis energy regulations, and it is now advising other governments on CEA-related energy policies. RII’s Efficient Yields cultivation workshops are the only grower-led, non-commercial venues for the exchange of resource-efficient cultivation best practices. RII is funded by utilities, foundations, governments, and leading members of the supply chain serving CEA, from LED manufacturers to HVAC engineers. Visit their website at Follow them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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