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Questions about impact of cannabis sector on power and water supply

Chair of Manx Utilities says there are few concerns

There is sufficient capacity in the Island's existing electricity generation infrastructure to meet the demand increase expected from plans to grow the medicinal cannabis industry on the Island.

That's from the chair of Manx Utilities, in response to a Tynwald written question concerning power and water demand and emissions associated with the Department for Enterprise's strategy.

Rushen MHK Juan Watterson asks: What demand for power and water will arise from cannabis growth if the ambitions of the Department for Enterprise are realised; how it will be supplied; and whether this will be consistent with the Island's climate change obligations?

Those plans include a number of 'small-scale' cannabis  farms, which are expected to draw an electrical demand of no more than 10 Megawatts and no more than 0.2 Million Litres of water per day.

A medicinal cannabis sector on the Island is viewed by government as one of its core focuses for economic growth. 

Business Isle of Man says the Island is on course for 10 new licenced firms by the end of next year.

Regulations were brought in to allow the growth, manufacturing, distribution and export of cannabis products in 2021.

Patients with prescriptions for medicinal cannabis were able to collect products for the first time in December 2022 from Karson's Pharmacy in Onchan.

When it comes to powering potential company's farms, John Wannenburgh says some infrastructure investment may be required depending on the network capability in the vicinity of any proposed production site.

Meanwhile, he says the demand for water depends on the size of the industry, saying the impact on supply would only become an issue if there were a very large cannabis sector on the Island.

You can read the full response HERE.

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