So much for environmentalists claiming that the legal marijuana industry’s carbon emissions are nothing compared to other industries since, in theory, cannabis could be grown outdoors. Colorado is also going to have to re-think a proposal floated last year to use craft brewery emissions in order to help the Centennial State’s pot industry due to its huge carbon footprint there too.
Demand for legal pot driving growth of industry’s swelling carbon footprint
By Brooks Hays
March 8 (UPI) — Demand for commercial marijuana continues to grow as more and more states legalize pot. To meet the seemingly insatiable demand, commercial growers are expanding their indoor production.
According to a new study, published Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability, indoor growing operations are responsible for the industry’s swelling carbon footprint.
Previous studies have highlighted the ill effects of the commercial marijuana industry on local water resources and wildlife habitats, but the latest survey is one of the first to provide a broad view of the sector’s climate impacts.
“We knew the emissions were going to be large, but because they hadn’t been fully quantified previously, we identified this as a big research opportunity space,” lead study author Hailey Summers, graduate student at Colorado State University, said in a news release. “We just wanted to run with it.”
For the study, scientists modeled how the growth of marijuana demand in different parts of the country is influencing the greenhouse footprints of local growers. The analysis accounted for differences in climate patterns and electric grids.
PHOTO CREDIT: Top of a cannabis plant in vegetative growth stage By J. Patrick Bedell – Own image with Sony DSC-W55 and Fedora Core 5., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1718718