Consider a typical cannabis farmer, growing an indoor crop.

In a protected, controlled environment, they can grow a profitable mix of high-potency, medicinal marijuana and any number of milder strains appealing to a new market.

But the venture comes with both a business and social overhead: high energy bills and a heavy, carbon footprint.

“It’s a big problem,” said Tim Hade, co-founder of micro-grid company Scale. “It has an impact far beyond cannabis consumption.”

A recent study estimated a single, indoor marijuana plant takes the equivalent of 70 gallons of oil to grow. Energy demand at Colorado’s largest utility grew about 2 percent after marijuana was legalized.

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