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Does the Cannabis Industry Really Consume 1% of America’s Total Electricity?

The problem of massive energy consumption by legal marijuana-growing operations is not getting any better—and it’s poised to get worse.

A new report, titled “Illuminating Cannabis: The Future of Energy in the Cannabis Industry” and written by industry-reporting firm New Frontier Financial Group, suggests that marijuana growers are still using a staggering amount of electricity, equivalent to 1.7 million American homes or 1 percent of the nation’s total consumed energy—a number that’s been cited as the average energy consumption for several years.

And this already high number is poised to rise along with the growth of the industry and expanding legalization of cannabis cultivation and consumption. Because of the way marijuana is grown indoors, the process requires a great deal of electricity to power heat lamps as well as ventilation and watering systems.

By some estimates, producing one kilo (2.2 pounds) of weed is equivalent energy-wise to driving across the country seven times. In Colorado, growhouse power bills can hit six figures. Currently, the cost of all the energy used by legal marijuana growers totals $6 billion. [Read more at Motherboard]

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