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As Legalization Spreads, Pot Growers Guzzle Billions in Electricity

Quartz: “As more states legalize marijuana in the US, pot cultivation is sucking up an ever-growing amount of energy from the grid.”

“Since most of the legal weed is grown indoors, the pot industry burns through large quantities of electricity used to power lamps, ventilation systems, and air conditioning. A square foot of planting requires some 200 watts of electricity, about the same as a data center, according to a report this year in the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law.”

“The paper notes that marijuana plantations soak up at least 1% of the country’s electricity at a cost of $6 billion a year.”

“If all states legalized pot, the amount the industry spends on electricity could go up to $11 billion, High Country News notes.”

“That’s putting enough pressure on electric utilities that regulators discussed the issue at their annual meeting on Nov. 11, in a session titled ‘The Straight Dope on Energy & the Marijuana Industry.’”

Topics: wonk-wire