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  • Erin Sharp

Decentralizing Power and Supply Chain for Cannabis Production

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

More poignant now than ever is the abrupt reality of the complex way we are woven as interconnected threads and we all feel now a bit “woven in”. As I write this during the COVID-19 ‘shelter in place’ advice here in Colorado — more now, than ever before, I see how we are all in this together! The best way out is to have local support to hold you over - a resiliency plan. Community spread happens with one person at a time. We must rely on each other everywhere - engaged in a common threat engendered by profound multifaceted solutions.

The value of resiliency is intangible until you need it immediately, and may mean the difference between meeting a harvest or losing it for my customers.

At Zam Energy we are taking a look at our partners, and by June we plan to shift resources and refocus to use N. American suppliers, and will be advising our clients to move a percentage of their budget to decentralized renewable power sources as well as using N. American supply chains.

MSOs and licensed producers who own and operate cannabis production facilities are increasingly seeking our ZamGrid solution.

On-site power which includes resilient forms of energy demand that are off grid or use renewables with software that interacts with the grid edge to shape the peak curve and offload the battery when solar is best used late afternoon is the number one hedge against power loss. We also incorporate remote powering solutions to speed installations of LEDs in grows, significantly reducing equipment, cable and labor costs, and more efficiently power the equipment needed to bring higher intensity for cannabis production with lower power use.

Your goal as a facility or construction head for your MSO or licensed producer in North America is to avoid vulnerable disruptions to power sources on site, rely on lower cost reliable power and most importantly show leadership in carbon reduction practices using local sources of power.

Yes, renewable energy does pencil and Yes, the power improves your bottom line, and Yes, they can be relied on 24/7. And Yes, you do not have to own these assets.

Sooner versus later you will need a percentage of Off-Grid power for your cannabis facility- and/or solar with battery and demand management software to shape grid use. Well positioned cannabis production facilities are using off-grid and grid connected renewables to diversify their mix of energy- some local and some centralized, as you would a diversified investment portfolio. This, plus, no use of capital is required to keep your operations running.

Good news, we have partners who will own and operate your smart power plant and lease the land / or site where it is hosted. You gain a new source of revenue generating income on lease payments. Zam Energy will also finance the LEDs for all phases of the plant cycle that we package into our ZamGrid solution.

Local supply chains = resilience

Zam Energy has begun to forge new relationships to ensure our supply chain is local, which will be ready by mid June. We are in the process of switching from European providers, to N. American suppliers and we are reaching out to our customers to consider more localized control of their energy. We are here to provide support for our customers who need lower power costs, and protection against unexpected outages as well as for our customers in California, who are experiencing seasonal utility planned power shutoffs. Forces that are here and coming which are all a part of N. America’s aging grid factors bound to effect cannabis producers indefinitely.

GOAL: Find third parties to finance your resiliency plan.

Forward thinking producers are now switching out HPS to LEDs, and are working to understand the cost of microgrids and back-up power supplies. The good news is that it is doable and better yet, should not impact capital expenses. Producers can not afford not to act.

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