Even in sunny California a lot of medicinal cannabis is grown indoors under perfectly climate controlled conditions. Lighting and humidity is set to allow the cannabis to grow and then changed to cause the plant to flower.
These tight controls make for some pretty amazing bud, but you have to ask yourself, how much energy do we use to grow marijuana indoors?
Why do we waste all that energy when the sun shines so brightly on most of the state? The cost may not seem like much when you consider a personal grow operation, however if you consider all of the people growing in California and the large-scale commercial medicinal marijuana operations in urban cities like Los Angeles or Oakland, the costs add up frighteningly quickly.
This infographic from TreeHugger.com has some great comparisons for indoor growers to consider. A few of our favorites:
- growing 1 kilo of marijuana indoors uses the same energy as driving across the United State 5 times
- growing 4 plants indoors uses the same energy as running 30 refrigerators full time
It’s always interesting to fully consider the true economic costs of production. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if weed were legal and we could grow marijuana out in the sunshine without fear of federal persecution and the associated stigma of being a criminal?
Even in states that growing cannabis is legal, it is still more efficient to grow under lights. This being said, it does cause a carbon footprint. Growing under sunlight is great for the novice grower, but growing large amounts requires electricity. Here is a great resource to be an informed energy user.