The great rush to vertical integration, big cannabis and all that destroys the environment. Well who knew !
At least now we have some academic types spelling it out for those who’d like to brush it under the carpet and will continue to brush under the carpet as they have now spent all that money building pointless Dutch sized greenhouses.
The big question, will anybody pay attention?
Evan Mills, Ph.D. of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Scott Zeramby have revealed a new chapter in the upcoming “Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Cannabis Research,” entitled “Energy Use by the Indoor Cannabis Industry: Inconvenient Truths for Producers, Consumers, and Policymakers.” The report takes a critical look at indoor cannabis cultivation in the age of climate change.
According to its authors, the work, “pinpoints blind spots in regulation, outlines research and analysis needs, argues for consumer information and protections against greenwashing and industry capture of regulatory and green-certification processes, and offers recommendations for incorporating energy considerations into the broader tapestry of cannabis policy.”
Here’s the abstract for the chapter.. we have highlighted some of the more pertinent points
Energy Use by the Indoor Cannabis Industry: Inconvenient Truths for Producers, Consumers, and Policymakers
Decades spent in the shadows of the black market precluded opportunities to understand the energy use of indoor cannabis cultivation and compel the industry to keep its environmental consequences in check.
Although the impacts of outdoor cultivation on ecosystems have received considerable attention, those associated with vastly more energy-intensive indoor cultivation have rarely been evaluated and integrated into policy-making, even in the post-prohibition era. Indeed, indoor cannabis cultivators continue to be passed over by most energy policy instruments developed since the energy crises of the 1970s.
Moreover, some cannabis regulations are inadvertently driving energy use upwards, while “financial incentives” for energy efficiency offered to indoor growers by utility companies subsidize and legitimize polluting activities that could be performed outdoors with virtually no energy use. These anti-competitive repercussions of ill-conceived and poorly evaluated policy demonstrate that cannabis legalization is necessary but not sufficient to address environmental issues.
This chapter pinpoints blindspots in regulation, outlines research and analysis needs, argues for consumer information and protections against greenwashing and industry capture of regulatory and green-certification processes, and offers recommendations for incorporating energy considerations into the broader tapestry of cannabis policy.
Even at ostensibly high energy efficiencies and use of renewable energy, indoor cultivation “optimizes the suboptimal” and cannibalizes renewable energy infrastructure developed for other purposes, which is untenable in a carbon-constrained world.
Outdoor cultivation—which has sufficed for millennia—is the most technologically elegant, sustainable, ethical, and economically viable approach for minimizing the rising energy and environmental burden of cannabis production
Read the full pdf