General Article $13 billion US cannabis production industry ‘damaging environment’, study finds

Topic Selected: Cannabis Book Volume: 399

The $13 billion US cannabis production industry is creating a huge carbon footprint and damaging the environment, according to new research.

A team from Colorado State University have put together the most detailed analysis of the industry’s carbon footprint by assessing indoor cannabis operations across the US where 51 states have legalised cannabis for either recreational or medical use.

Researchers analysed how much greenhouse gas emissions were emitted through the process of growing a cannabis plant – examining how much energy and materials were required to grow the product.

Their study found indoor cannabis production in the country was putting the most strain on the environment, with greenhouse gas emissions found to be between 2,283 and 5,184 kilograms of carbon dioxide per kilogram of dried flower.

Hailey Summers, a graduate who led the study published in Nature Sustainability,  said: ‘We knew the emissions were going to be large, but because they hadn’t been fully quantifie...

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