Cannabis, Carbon, And Climate Change

Cannabis has a carbon problem. We’re working hard to make indoor cannabis grow facilities more energy-efficient, lower carbon emissions, and keep things green.

We’ve been working hard to educate growers not just how impactful cannabis can be on our planet, but how the technology exists to make substantial reductions that are cost-effective. That means cannabis facilities can save the planet and save money, something that sure makes a lot of sense. 

Demand for medical and recreational cannabis has skyrocketed over the past decade, with more and more states legalizing increasing elements of the product from medical to recreational along a broad spectrum of state and local legislative efforts. New Jersey became the most recent state to authorize personal use, opening up an adult population of over six million people to enjoy marijuana products. 

That also means a new state that will need to deal more closely with the outsized carbon footprint cannabis production contributes to the US climate crisis contribution. As a nation, we emit approximately 5.1 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, an amount that plays a large role in the 33 billion tons emitted by the world as a whole. As cannabis demand rises, supply will inevitably increase, and we need to tackle the environmental aspect of the industry now; we simply can’t afford to wait. 

Roughly half of the marijuana supply is grown in indoor facilities. That means energy demand increases alongside emissions to a startling degree. To produce a single ounce of marijuana is to emit the equivalent of seven to sixteen gallons of gas. 

That’s a startling number, but it’s even more startling with some context. The US produces an incredible amount of cannabis per year. According to one study, the combined total of legally-produced and illicit cannabis production exceeded 34 million pounds in 2019. 

In the next five years, the world faces a dangerous confluence of issues related to climate change. Along the same timeline, cannabis is expected to explode and expand into new states and regions, many of which may essentially need indoor grow facilities due to their climates. To achieve both our climate goals and to allow equitable, legal access to cannabis, we need to address its emission faults now as an industry before we’re handed regulations that aren’t shaped by those who don’t understand what we do. 

Need help increasing yields and lowering costs? We’re here to make it happen.