Inside a nondescript warehouse south of I-70 in Denver, Nick Hice opens a door into a large room holding a few hundred cannabis plants. One of the first things you notice about the room: It's bright. Glaring yellow high-pressure sodium light fixtures are strung from the ceiling. The whole place has a feverish glow. Even though it's indoors, Hice and his workers here at Denver Relief typically wear sunglasses when working here.
It's those lights that are the key to growing commercial marijuana successfully.
"It's very important. It's one of the things we talk about the most with these artificial environments," said Hice, an expert grower and operations manager at Denver Relief and a founding partner in its associated cannabis consulting business.
There's a cost that comes with using the same kind of lighting technology used to brighten stadiums and streets: high electric bills. That's why some enterprising businessmen are creating alternatives that might help cannabis growers cut down on their electricity load.