The cannabis industry is exploding in the USA as states start to legalise the drug in what’s been described as a “green rush”. However, the demand for product is causing damage to the environment. Energy-intensive production processes not only leave a massive carbon footprint, but can pollute water supplies and damage wildlife populations. Producing just one kilogram of the product generates a massive 4,600kg of CO2 – that’s the equivalent of driving a VW Golf between Lands End and John O’Groats (an 874-mile journey) more than 25 times.

Manufacturing just 1g of weed produces the same CO2 generated by driving your car for more than 20 miles
That means that a single gram of weed – enough for one or two spliffs – is responsible for roughly the same amount of CO2 emissions generated from driving more than 20 miles. Cannabis farming in the US accounts for 1% of all energy consumption. “Contrary to the stereotype of marijuana growers as genial and environmentally conscious hippies, illegal marijuana growers are often heavily armed and operate with little or no regard for the environmental impacts of their operations,” explains lawyer Eric Christensen, from Gordon Thomas Honeywell. In the UK, illegal cannabis farms set up in houses use up to 40 times more electricity than normal households – to power the lights and hydroponic systems needed to grow the plants. It’s the enormous amount of energy used that makes it easy to detect cannabis farms using thermal cameras – or, in some cases, melted snow.

Spot the cannabis farm…
Meanwhile pesticides used to protect crops outdoors in California are killing off protected creatures such as the rare Pacific fisher (from the weasel family) and polluting rivers. “A bunch of fish may turn up dead in a creek, so we’ll go look, walk upstream, and inevitably run into a marijuana growth site,” Patrick Foy from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told IBTimes. Companies are springing up to provide more sustainable ways to grow cannabis. Surna, set up by Farmville creator Tom Bollich, develops technology that reuses water and reduces costs – and the carbon footprint … – Click Here To Visit Article Source