Every Picture Tells a Story: Cannabis is Not Ecologically Friendly

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Mar 13, 2021
In the rush to legalize marijuana for recreational use, driven by changing opinion and the increasing need for tax revenues, should we consider weed’s carbon footprint?
Image courtesy of Social Butterfly on Pixabay

The images are taken from an article found in this week’s, The Conversation by Jason Quinn and Halley Summers from the Colorado State University Sustainable Research Laboratory. 

Growing pot indoors requires significant electrical energy to power the lights and air conditioning. It is more often grown indoors for legal sales because it improves the product's quality and consistency and is genuinely a cash crop susceptible to theft. When you factor energy costs in, here is how cannabis measures up with some of our other legal offerings.

And interestingly enough, Hawaii, a paradise for a growing plant, uses the greatest amount of energy, “324 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per ounce. That’s roughly equivalent to burning 16 gallons of gasoline.” Alaska, an area in Colorado and the Midwest, round out the top four carbon footprints.


Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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