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Energy & Environmental Plan – NY Cannabis

New York Cannabis Energy and Environmental Plan

Energy & Environmental Plan – NY Cannabis


New York cannabis business applicants will need an Energy & Environmental Plan to submit with their applications to the OCM. The state places environmental sustainability as one of their highest priorities in implementing a successful legalized cannabis regulatory system. 

Indoor cultivation is very energy intensive, and the OCM discourages it for this reason by increasing the paperwork requirements for applicants to prove they are planning to operate in the least energy-intensive ways. 

Other license types besides indoor cultivation, including outdoor growing, processing and retail licenses, will also need an environmental plan. We offer versions of this plan, in template form, for all license types. Send us an email to set up a screen share so we can show you the options. 

Product Information & Customer Reviews


Full Table of Contents (Depending on your license type, this will change)

Introduction 4

Single-Use Plastics and Retail Packaging Sustainability Program (NYCRR §125.1(c)(1)) 4

Reduce or Eliminate Single-Use Plastics 5

Retail Packaging Sustainability Program – RPSP (NYCRR §128.4) 5

RPSP Policies 6

Annual Reporting 11

Use and Disposal of Hazardous Chemicals (NYCRR §125.1(c)(2)) 11

Composted or Recycled Organics for Cultivation (NYCRR §125.1(c)(3)) 12

Carbon Footprint Reduction (NYCRR §125.1(c)(4)) 14

New Buildings or Expanding Existing Buildings (NYCRR §125.1(c)(4)(i)(a)) 14

Design Considerations 14

Location and Transportation 14

Sustainable Sites 14

Water Efficiency 15

Energy and Atmosphere 15

Materials and Resources 15

Indoor Environmental Quality 15

Innovation 15

Lighting Systems 16

Reusing Existing Building Stock 16

Positive Impacts: 17

Efficient Envelope/Shell 17

Mechanical Engineering Energy Efficiency 17

Proposed Energy Impact and Energy Efficiency Goals (NYCRR §125.1(c)(4)(i)(b)) 20

Energy Benchmarking 20

Benchmarks and Timelines 21

Limiting Electrical Usage and Increasing Insulation (NYCRR §125.1(c)(4)(i)(c)) 23

Occupancy Sensors and Programmable Thermostats 23

Occupancy Sensors 23

Programmable Thermostats 23

Building Insulation 24

Renewable Energy Generation (NYCRR §125.1(c)(4)(i)(d)) 24

Renewable Potential 24

Energy Generation 24

Energy Management 24

Energy Education 25

Monitoring and Reporting 25

Annual Energy Report (NYCRR §125.1(c)(5)) 26

Lighting Standards (NYCRR §125.1(c)(6)) [Indoor and Mixed Light] 26

Existing Lighting 27

Lighting Minimum Standards by License Type 28

Interval Meters 28

Positive Impacts: 29

Negative Impacts: 29

Staggered Demand Lighting 29

Load Shedding and Demand Response Non-feasibility 30

Demand Response 31

Energy Audits 31

Load Management 31

Energy Efficiency Measures 31

Demand Response System 31

Employee Training 31

Performance Monitoring 32

Primary Electrical System 32

Environmental Control and Odor Mitigation (NYCRR §125.1(c)(7)) 32

Dehumidification Systems (NYCRR §125.1(c)(7)(i)) 32

Energy-Efficient Equipment 33

Regular Maintenance 33

Temperature Management 33

Calibrated Design 33

Monitoring 33

Air Conditioning Systems (NYCRR §125.1(c)(7)(ii)) 34

Energy-Efficient Equipment 34

Regular Maintenance 34

Temperature Management 34

Leak Detection 35

Monitoring 35

Upgrades 35

Education and Training 35

Monitoring 35

On-Site Combustion of Fossil Fuels (NYCRR §125.1(c)(7)(iii)) [Indoor Only, Note Excluded License Types] 36

HVAC and Odor Inspection Plan (NYCRR §125.1(c)(7)(iv)) 36

Manufacturer’s Guidelines for Maintenance of Equipment 36

Ensuring Proper Operation and Energy Efficiency 37

Odor Control (NYCRR §125.1(c)(7)(v)) 38

Heating System Exhaust (NYCRR §125.1(c)(7)(vii)) 41

Greenhouse Gas/Fossil Fuel Reduction Plan (NYCRR §125.1(c)(8)) 41

Ecological Regeneration Practices (NYCRR §125.1(c)(9)) [Outdoor or Mixed Light] 44

Using Efficient Irrigation 44

Monitoring Soil Moisture 45

Scheduling Irrigation 46

Using Raised Beds 46

Avoiding Overdrafting Groundwater 46

Using an Irrigation Pond 47

Implementing Water Catchment 47

Practicing Intercropping 48

Rotating Crops 48

Planting or Promotion of Native Plants 48

Providing Habitat for Native Animals 49

Protecting Native Waterways 49

Composting On-Site or Using Locally-Sourced Compost [Indoor and Outdoor/MixedLight] 49

Water Conservation and Use (NYCRR §125.1(c)(10))  [Indoor and Mixed Light] 49

Indoor Water Use and Conservation Plan [Indoor only] 50

Sources 50

Quality 50

Use 51

Environmental Controls Related to Wastewater Runoff 53

Practices to Limit or Improve Water Usage 56

Outdoor/Mixed Light Water Use and Conservation Plan [Outdoor, Mixed Light] 57

Sources 57

Quality 57

Use 59

Environmental Controls Related to Wastewater Runoff 61

Practices to Limit or Improve Water Usage 62

Waste Management, Recycling, and Disposal (NYCRR §125.1(c)(11)) 64

Minimizing Waste Generation 64

Maximizing Reuse and Recycling 65

Separating and Labeling Recycling 67

Measuring and Tracking Performance (NYCRR §125.1(c)(12)) 68

Other Information Requested (NYCRR §125.1(c)(13)) 71

Conclusion 72


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Our Story

Our cultivation expert and our dispensary expert have been in the cannabis industry since the mid 90's when medical dispensaries first started operating in California. We both lived in Amsterdam in 1995-96 and cut our teeth in the legal industry there, where it was very competitive in comparison to the US.

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