In this week’s podcast, we discuss how some Californian’s are starting to grow their own cannabis, and are finding it to be a very electricity heavy venture.  We discuss how solar power is a solution to help foster California’s next largest cash crop.


About Jamie Duran &
Solar Harmonics
Brought to you by Solar Harmonics in Northern California,  who invite their customers to “Own Their Energy” by purchasing a solar panel system or their home, business, or farm.  You can check out the website for the best solar energy equipment installer, Solar Harmonics, here.   Each episode we discuss questions facing people making the decision to go solar. The solutions to your questions are given to you –  straight  – by one of the leading experts in the solar industry, Jamie  Duran,  president of Solar Harmonics.   Feel free to search our library for answers to questions that you’re facing when considering solar.

Produced by
Magnified Media
Solar Cast is produced by Adam Duran, director of Magnified Media. Based in Walnut Creek, California, Magnified Media is an internet marketing firm focused on getting Google local Maps placement, digital marketing, website design, local search ranking and reputation management for businesses of all sizes. Check out their podcast, Local SEO in 10 here!
Magnified Media helping business owners master their marketing by:
– getting them more online reviews,
– getting their website seen and
– creating engaging social media content.
In his spare time, Adam enjoys working as the volunteer director of the Delta Education Foundation and practicing Jiu-Jitsu.

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Solar + Cannabis [Transcript]

Listen to the Episode Here

Adam (00:00):

Hello. Hello, Jamie. Hello. Adam. How’s everything going today for you?

Jamie (00:05):

Oh, it’s going great. Where we’re busier, busier, busier, which is excellent. No, no complaints. And we’re, you know, so many things are happening in the world of solar power that is, you know, conspiring to keep us super busy. So no complaining about that.

Adam (00:21):

Conspiring in the good way of, in a good way. That is good building up all the time. Yeah. Very cool. I guess your phone is ringing off the hook.

Jamie (00:31):

Yeah, we’re, we are, like I said, we’re busy and people are really concerned about getting their solar project started before the end of the year.

Adam (00:41):

Well considering that the end of the year is as we record this only what a few weeks away. I can’t imagine they’re hearing good news.

Jamie (00:53):

Oh no, no, it’s, it’s definitely good news. You know, unfortunately, you know, the permit offices, this is kinda when people take time off at the end of the year. They go to holiday parties, they, you know, they show up late and leave early. So there’s a kind of a least productive time of the year, but when people need and want to get their projects going, so most of it’s out of our hands, but that’s okay. We’re you know, we’re keeping keeping the expectations realistic for sure.

Adam (01:21):

Okay. That’s good. So what do you want to talk about today? Well, so much stuff.

Jamie (01:26):

What happened this week? But yesterday I was able to attend a round table or no, a town hall meeting with the prospective presidential candidate Tom Steyer.

Adam (01:36):

Oh wow. Okay. how was, how’d that go?

Jamie (01:40):

Very good. He’s a, he’s very pro-climate change or, you know, he’s against his number one issue is climate change and his number one way to find it is a solar power. So we have similar thoughts in that it went about two hours and it was supposed to be, you know, he can answer questions, but he just had so much you, he just got started on one thing and this kept on talking. So that reminded me of something, someone else that I know.

Adam (02:11):

Okay.

Jamie (02:12):

But that was really cool. We’re we’re in touch with his media people and there’s a chance that if he can come on the number one solar podcasts.

Adam (02:19):

Wow. Awesome. That’s us. Yeah, that’d be so super cool. All right. I can only imagine the technical difficulties we’ll have with that, but I am optimistic. Yeah, that’d be awesome. That’d be really, really cool because obviously from what I’ve read anyway, there’s a major consensus on climate change being a real thing

Jamie (02:47):

For sure. Yeah. And that’s that’ll be exciting, you know, but I also have another topic aside from presidential candidate to Tom Steyer is a, we are starting to get is another huge thing that’s happening in California is more and more people are starting to grow cannabis. Oh, Oh yeah, of course. So, okay. So they’ve started and now they’re realizing, Oh my God, my electricity bill has just tripled or quadrupled or even more, they’re in a bit of a, you know, it’s certainly spring a solar production. And so you know, it’s, it’s a natural fit. California cannabis and solar kind of thriller harmonics all at once. But you know, over time I think this will be California’s number one crop. I would say within the next 10 years. And it’s, it’s super easy to grow. You know, I’m not a user of course, but people are, and they get a lot of benefits from it. And you know, most communities allow people to grow six plants at a time and just in those six plants they can expect electricity bills and that three to $400 a month. Whoa. Yeah. Yeah. So that kind of takes the fun out of it, that,

Adam (04:14):

That must be just not just lights, but like ventilation, temperature control. I mean, there must be a lot of things going on.

Jamie (04:23):

I am certainly not an expert in this area, but I see the electricity bills and they’re staggering. So I’m adding solar makes a cannabis grow much more profitable. So it’s it’s a really interesting new business that pretty much anyone could do from their home. And you know, there’s all, there’s probably thousands and thousands of blogs on how to do it. And where to sell it and all of that kind of stuff. And yeah, it’s a, it’s, it will be a big, big, big, big business going forward. So

Adam (04:58):

I, I can just imagine the smell. I mean, just like, you know, that’s one, it’s not, sorry. That’s all I’m thinking of. Oh, I know. My wife complaining. Oh my God, it’s just smells so bad.

Jamie (05:11):

Yeah. you know, as some people grow it outside and some people kind of grow it you know, inside and when they grow it inside. Yeah. There’s a lot of lot of issues consider, so it’s certainly a, you know, just like anything, there’s pros and cons to doing any kind of money-making venture, but that it seems like the demand is never-ending and you know, it can be a really profitable home business for, and communities allow you to grow away more than six plants. So city of Oakland allows a hundred plants.

Adam (05:48):

Wow. Wow. Wait, do you mean Oaksterdam? Oaksterdam? Yes, yes, yes. Wow. I just, cause I all I’ve see is those plants getting to be like 12, 16 feet tall. So,

Jamie (06:03):

Well, you have a lot more experience with this than I do of course. But I don’t know. I do like the tiny one, so but you know, there’s all kinds of hydroponics and hydro, you know, there’s, but all those require pumps and they require a lights and all that stuff. So it’s, it’s kind of a you know, it’s it is like, I keep saying it’s a, it’s a growing business. People are really, yeah. But it’s definitely an electricity-intensive business too. So that’s why solar obviously would, it’s a no brainer for the cannabis growers too. So.

Adam (06:40):

Okay. So I’m assuming you’ve had a conversations with growers and you’ve, so I guess I would assume it’s just like a pool having a pool. So your, your electricity rates are going to be a V increase dramatically. So getting solar is going to allow you to offset that, that those electric costs to zero as long as you have enough space. Right. That, that’s the, that’s always the biggest concern.

Jamie (07:08):

Correct. And so it tends to be a cash business. And so maybe a lot of the times they don’t report their income as they should. That I imagine will be changing, especially as it becomes California’s number one crop. They’ll definitely want to make sure that taxes are being paid. But you know, there’s a, there’s a huge political component, but the, but the financial component is, it’s expensive to grow, especially using lights and solar is the solution for that for that problem.

Adam (07:39):

And I guess the buyback on a, on those systems, it would, it depends on how much the, the electricity is being used and how many panels or how much, how much solar production that you can put up on their roof, all that stuff. Right. Do you mean a payback or, Oh, sorry. So paying back the system. So if I buy off whatever, a $50,000 system it, it’s gonna pay for itself. And how long, what do you, I mean, it, guess what, four years. Three to four year. Wow. In PG&E territory

Jamie (08:11):

In and PG&E territory and a, you know, in Southern California Edison territory as well. So awesome. It’s they have the same rates, but San Diego gas and electric is even higher. Can you believe it? So it’s true. It’s true. But just about to move there. Oh man. Yeah. Wow. So that’s that’s exciting.

Adam (08:32):

If someone listening to this podcast knows or has a friend interested in starting this business or offsetting the cost of their current business, this, it’s a no brainer, right? No brainer. Yeah. Okay.

Jamie (08:46):

They have to own the house. We we just wanted solar and they signed a contract and then we’re getting ready to install next week and said, Oh, it doesn’t make a difference if I don’t own the house.

Adam (08:57):

Oh no. So that was pretty funny. Well, they’re not portable, so I guess I can be portable. Yeah, that’s right. We can move them. You just need the owner’s approval. We need the owner’s approval. Yes. And I don’t know too many owners who would allow a grow house, but maybe they would, I don’t know. I don’t know. But if I’ve seen commercial properties where it’s, it’s a whole you know, an office park where it’s devoted to growing marijuana like that. That’s all they do is rent office space for marijuana grow. And so for those, those spaces, it would seem like having solar up on the roof would be more of a no brainer then I mean equally in equal amounts of a no brainer as opposed to to a house. And I, I’m sure they’ve considered it. I, I, and I, I can’t believe that they’re not all covered with solar panels.

Jamie (10:06):

We can’t put enough solar panels on the those roots. Yeah, it’s, the payback is insane and very, very quick when it’s a commercial properties cause just like, you know, a data farm or Bitcoin farm or something like that, it is

Jamie (10:21):

A, a

Jamie (10:23):

It is a super no-brainer and it’s crazy that it’s not part of their business plan right from the start

Adam (10:28):

With covered parking and all that stuff just to, to make it a a plus minus zero as quickly as possible. I mean, that’s all, that’s all money. Instead of going to PG&E going straight into their pocket as a, as an owner or even a renter, I mean that’s just, Ugh, I can’t imagine the bills. So.

Jamie (10:49):

All right. For your girl place, definitely consider solid.

Jamie (10:53):

Okay. When my wife allows me to invest in what you will be my first call. Sounds good. All right. That’s only for this week. Okay, great. That was a good topic. Any questions or comments for us on, for future episodes? Please feel free to visit our Facebook page. It’s straight cut, straight talk, solar cast, and drop us a line there. Drop us a five-star review on Apple podcasts or wherever you’re listening to this podcast in Ukraine or even in our backyard here. And sunny Brentwood, California. How to write to everybody. All right. Talk to you next week.

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