On the heels of Santa Rosa, California’s outdoor cannabis harvest, we’re hearing more about the ways indoor cannabis farming is negatively impacting our environment. This year, a policy paper was released entitled, “Regulating Pot to Save the Polar Bear: Energy and Climate Impacts of the Marijuana Industry,” detailing how indoor farming is impacting climate.
You can read the full paper here, or keep reading below for the highlights.
In the essay, author Gina S. Warren discusses how we need to turn to more energy-efficient methods of growing cannabis and marijuana, such as using the raw power of Mother Nature.
Cannabis increasing legalization as of late has led to an increase in the amount of power consumed by marijuana growers. In fact, so much cannabis is being grown in Colorado that one power company traced 0.8% of its retail energy output to cannabis farming.
A District of Columbia Public Utility Commission worker, Willie Phillips, commented recently that as few as four mature cannabis plants can sap up as much power as two dozen refrigerators.
The policy paper further states that there are cannabis producers who are working to use renewable resources to grow their product – like Boulder City, (and county) Colorado and Washington. Both are working toward making requirements for their indoor growers to use 100% renewable energy.
In this way, Warren states:
Implementing such a requirement will ensure that the burden will be borne by the industry instead of by the general public. Marijuana can continue to tout itself as the ‘green’ industry that it is perceived as being, and public policymakers can help to save the polar bear.
For these reasons, Warren and others are pushing for more cannabis to be grown outdoors and for the use of natural power over the electrical grid to become more widespread.