Pot farms are fastest growing contributor to global warming crisis

The Marijuana Boom Is Contributing to the Climate Crisis

John R. Platt

What’s the carbon cost of legal marijuana?

It turns out that every little joint and edible adds up. A new report finds that marijuana cultivation accounts for as much as 1 percent of energy use in states such as Colorado and Washington. The electricity needed to illuminate, dehumidify, and air-condition large growing operations may soon rival the expenditures from big data centers, which themselves emit an estimated 100 million metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere every year.

The marijuana industry’s energy use “is immense,” said the report’s author, Kelly Crandall, an analyst for EQ Research, a clean energy policy research institute. Her report found that a large grow operation can have energy expenditures of 2,000 watts per square meter because of its constant need for lighting and ventilation.

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