The cannabis industry creates fast-growing businesses, new jobs, sales and tax revenues. However, it also makes us face the problem of increased resource consumption. The more states legalize weed, the more impressive the cannabis industry's environmental impact becomes.
According to a report released by Evan Mills, Ph.D., an energy analyst at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the cannabis industry was responsible for 1 percent of national electricity consumption or for 2 percent household electricity use in 2011. In California, the numbers were even higher: the weed industry was responsible for 3 percent of all energy consumption and around 9 percent of household use.
These numbers look really impressive but they do give a fair view of the current situation with the cannabis industry's electricity consumption. Back in 2011, the legalization movement was at the beginning of its path and indoor marijuana growing facilities were not as common as they are today. Now, we have nine states with fully legal marijuana, not to mention that over half of the states allow medical marijuana in some form. Therefore, the marijuana industry's environmental sustainability becomes an important problem for the cannapreneurs.
The constantly increasing energy consumption is not the only environmental problem the marijuana cultivators and manufacturers need to deal with. Cannabis is known for being a very thirsty plant. So, apart from the huge amounts of electricity, cannabis farms consume lots of water.
When it comes to outdoor growing, the weed industry creates one more threat to the environment: nutrients and strong pesticides that some cultivators use for growing weed may cause severe harm to soil. So, is there a way to make your cannabis business more environmentally sustainable?
Cannabis growing facilities usually require constant use of numerous systems: lighting, heating, ventilation, watering, etc. Most of these systems work 24/7 and consume huge amounts of resources.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fit-all solution that would work for any marijuana business. Yet, each marijuana entrepreneur may do their best to make their green business even greener.
By using the latest tech innovations and the newest equipment, you can reduce the level of electricity and water use several times over. While making your facility more environment-friendly, it will also help you cut your utility bills.
Some innovations make it possible to use resources more efficiently, like a new humidifier built by MSP Technology that removes extra moisture and cools the air in the grow room at the same time. Plus, the water removed from the air may be then used to water cannabis plants.
LED lights are yet another thing that may help you use electrical power wisely. LED lighting is more eco-friendly and uses less energy than other lighting systems. Using LED lights instead of traditional bulbs, you may cut your energy bills by up to 60 percent. Plus, since LED grow light basically simulates natural sunlight, it is better for the plants, especially when they are going through the vegetative stage.
There are also automatic solutions that help you grow weed with minimum effort, like LEAF's Plug-n-Plant system. This hydroponic grow box is meant to make weed cultivation an easy process even for novice growers. It has all the systems you need to grow high-quality cannabis and gives you maximum control over every stage of the process.
Of course, you cannot use such solutions for large marijuana farms, but it is a great alternative for people who grow weed at home.