The marijuana industry has had a multitude of problems that need to be resolved. The marijuana industry has faced an unfavorable tax burden, a lack of banking services, as well as concerns over what effect marijuana has on the long term. However, the newest issue the marijuana industry is facing may come as a huge surprise.
Last week, Quartz reported that the marijuana industry is growing very quickly, but so is the need for electricity. Because most marijuana is grown in greenhouses to control the climate, the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law notes that the cannabis industry uses approximately 1% of all electricity consumed in the United States, which equates to around $6 billion. Each square foot of a marijuana growing greenhouse used about 200 watts of electricity. Also, each lamp is about 500 times as strong as the lights found in regular lamps.
This may sound like a great thing for electrical utilities as they are able to make larger profits assuming that they have enough electricity to supply the demand. An article on High Country News stated that if cannabis were legalized throughout the country, $11 billion would be spent on electricity usage in the United States.
However, what if the supply couldn’t meet the demand? A new blog from the Portland Business Journal states that Pacific Power, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, has had various cases since the summertime where power outages have been linked to too much energy being pulled for homegrown marijuana or nearby cannabis farms. Pacific Power highlights that it has billed farmers approximately $5,000 for each time that local transmission equipment was overloaded. Roger Blank, Pacific Power’s director of safety, calculated that growing four plants take up enough power to keep 29 refrigerators running.
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