Most states legalizing marijuana have yet to grapple with energy demand
- Jun 27, 2019 9:15 am GMT
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A mature marijuana plant begins to bloom under artificial lights at Loving Kindness Farms in Gardena, California.
Oregon, Massachusetts and Illinois are among states taking steps to regulate energy use, according to a new report.
Cannabis cultivation in the United States this year will consume 1.8 million megawatt-hours of electricity, about as much as the nation’s 15,000 Starbucks stores.
And next year it’ll be even more, according to a report from analytics firm New Frontier Data estimating just how much power it takes to produce the nation’s cannabis crop.
Yet even as they’ve welcomed it into the regulatory fold, states legalizing cannabis so far have done little to limit or even track the huge amounts of energy needed to grow it indoors. Among the 11 states to permit recreational use of cannabis, only Massachusetts and now Illinois, which did so this week, have included energy-efficiency standards for indoor cultivation, a practice that requires nearly nonstop use of lights and various heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.