The burgeoning marijuana industry gobbles up electricity.
Location, location, location: That’s the deciding factor when it comes to the size of marijuana cultivation’s carbon footprint, according to a new study out of Colorado State University.
The paper’s authors, led by Hailey Summers, confirmed previous findings that indoor pot-growing gobbles up huge amounts of electricity and can cause high greenhouse gas emissions. Their research also quantifies emission differences from place to place: A kilogram of cannabis cultivated in Long Beach, California, for example, has a smaller carbon footprint than one grown in Denver, Colorado.
The reason? More energy is required to keep the indoor temperature and humidity at optimum levels in very cold or hot places than in more temperate areas. And California’s grid is virtually coal-free, while the power grid in Colorado and other Interior West states relies heavily on coal and natural gas, both of which emit large amounts of greenhouse gases.
Published: May 31, 2021