Tags Environment


Marijuana farmers sue the county

2/22/18--Marijuana farmers have undertaken a number of challenges to the recently enacted ban on cannabis cultivation, including lawsuits seeking to overturn the ban and challenges to the county’s refusal to produce a memorandum sent to all supervisors that was the subject of a Freedom of Information Act request. Read

Owls dying near marijuana farms (here’s why)

1/11/18--New research reveals that several species, including the northern spotted owl, are succumbing to rat poison from thousands of "unpermitted private marijuana grow sites" in the northwestern California counties of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte. It's the contamination of the owls' primary food source — mice and rats, which, like humans, are attracted to the aromatic crop — that has been the animals' undoing. Read

Mexican drug cartels may use legal marijuana to take over Northern California

1/10/18--Federal authorities say Mexican drug cartels are propping up black-market marijuana farms all across Northern California. Now weed is sparking the next gold rush, and law enforcement is struggling to keep cartels out of the game, even though recreational marijuana became legal in California on January 1 and medical marijuana has been permitted since 1996. Today, California is the epicenter of black-market marijuana in the U.S., with over 90 percent of the country’s illegal marijuana farms. Read

Marijuana farming is harming the environment, study shows

11/1/17--Marijuana farming in remote locations is hurting the environment, new research shows. When researchers analyzed the ecological consequences of marijuana farming in Northern California, they were surprised by the outsized impact of small farms. Read

Ithaca College professor finds cannabis cultivation hurts environment

10/31/17--According to a new study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment and co-authored by Jake Brenner, associate professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Ithaca College, planting cannabis for commercial production in remote locations is creating forest fragmentation, stream modification, soil erosion, and landslides. Without land-use policies to limit its environmental footprint, the impacts of cannabis farming could get worse. Read

Marijuana industry, far from green, is a power hog

8/5/17--One oft-cited study by New Frontier estimates that marijuana cultivation uses 1 percent of American electricity consumption. Another report by a company focusing on clean energy research finds that indoor grow labs have electricity use on par with data centers, or 50 to 200 times more than the average office complex. Read

Pesticide and Fertilizer Use on Marijuana in Washington

8/28/17--To assist growers who use pesticides for the production of marijuana in Washington, WSDA has developed a list of pesticides that meet WSDA Criteria for use on marijuana. The list only includes registered pesticides that are allowable for use on marijuana as defined by the above criteria. The list has been provided to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board and the Washington State Department of Health and will be updated by WSDA as needed. Read

Toxic waste from U.S. pot farms alarms experts

8/6/17--Pollution from illegal marijuana farms deep in California's national forests is far worse than previously thought, and has turned thousands of acres into waste dumps so toxic that simply touching plants has landed law enforcement officers in the hospital. Ecologist Mourad Gabriel, who documents the issue for the Forest Service, estimates California's forests hold 41 times more solid fertilizers and 80 times more liquid pesticides than Forest Service investigators found in 2013. Read

Where marijuana plants flourish under energy-saving LED lights

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-9-59-38-am11/25/16--Hundreds of marijuana plants were flowering recently under 40 LED lights as part of a high-stakes experiment in energy conservation — an undertaking subsidized by the local electric company. Although the LED lights are more expensive up front, their lower electricity requirements mean they can save money in the long run. It is not just that the LED lights take so much less energy to operate. They also run cooler, requiring less air-conditioning. Read

The marijuana boom is contributing to the climate crisis

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-10-44-15-pm10/5/16--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. The marijuana industry’s energy use “is immense,” said the report’s author, Kelly Crandall, an analyst for EQ Research. Read

Is marijuana causing global warming?

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-10-16-22-am10/6/16--The impact on the climate is one factor in the debate about whether or not marijuana should be grown and used for medical reasons. According to a new report by a clean energy policy research institute, 'Marijuana cultivation may be viewed as a burden that will lead to higher costs and larger environmental footprints.' Read

Marijuana grow ops could soon rival data center energy use

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-9-14-12-pm10/3/16--The amount of total energy used by pot growers is growing. Colorado estimated grow facilities used about 0.5 percent of the state’s electricity in 2014, and the state’s utilities say that figure is growing by about 50 percent per year. Read

Marijuana growing operation sparked Harrisburg fire

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-9-22-49-am9/7/16--Police are searching for a Harrisburg property owner after heat lamps used to grow marijuana allegedly ignited a fire in a city house Wednesday morning. Read

Illegal marijuana operations smoked out California wildfire

Calif., on Thursday, where it has destroyed more than 80,000 acres and 57 homes since it started July 22 -- and resulted in the seizures of nearly 20,000 illegal marijuana plants that had been cultivated inside the Los Padres National Forest. Read