Energy up in Smoke:
The Carbon Footprint of Indoor Cannabis Production


Alaska Dispatch News - The growing marijuana industry faces a serious problem: its huge energy footprint

Albuquerque Journal - As marijuana growing expands, power demands tax US electricity grids

AlterNet - Indoor or outside: What’s the best way to grow weed? (March 7, 2017)

Ambiente - Troppa cannabis legale, si rischiano black out elettrici negli Usa (Too much legal cannabis may cause power outages in the US.” (Italy - December 7, 2016)

Atlantic - How much electricity does indoor-grown pot use?

Atlantic - Marijuana growing consumes 1 percent of nation's energy

Bay Citizen - Study: one joint equals two pounds of greenhouse gases

Bay Guardian - Cool, efficient plasma lighting technology comes online

Bay Guardian - Green Buds: Environmental cost of growing indoors is luring the marijuana industry back into the sunshine

Bellingham Herald - A new kind of family farm – growing pot outdoors in Washington

Bend Bulletin - Marijuana’s problem: it’s not so green

Berkeley Daily Planet - City Council fails to pass sustainable medical marijuana ordinance


  1. -Marijuana growing has to change its energy-hogging ways

  2. -As Pot-Growing Expands, Power Demands Tax U.S. Electricity Grids

  3. -Legal-weed buzz fades for utilities (March 30, 2017)

Boston Business Journal - Up in smoke

Boulder Weekly - The great indoors

California Watch - Pot growers burn through energy

Cannabis Business Times - State of the Cannabis lighting market

Cannabisculture - How can we keep weed green? Marijuana warehouses are a massive energy suck - The carbon footprint of Cannabis

Cantech Letter - Cannabis grow ops use more electricity than the mining industry in Canada (November 28, 2016)

Carnegie-Knight News21 - Marijuana and Energy (video)

CBS Television - Smoke on this: marijuana growers use one percent of U.S. electricity supply

Chicago Sun Times - Cannabis grows best in the sunshine

Chicago Tribune - National Marijuana Day: not as green as you might think

Columbus Dispatch - Indoor marijuana's carbon footprint is extra large

Consumer Reports - Growing marijuana gets you high ... energy costs, study finds

Cortez Journal - Pot growers pressure the grid

Culture - In a brand new light

CV Independent - Pot Power: Marijuana Puts a Huge Energy Demand on the Grid—but Legalization May Lessen the Burden

The Daily Beast - How green is your green? Pot’s terrible environmental record

Daily Californian - Growing marijuana indoors could damage environment

Daily Kos - The carbon footprint of Cannabis

Datacenter Dynamics - Why not diversify into dope?

Denver Business Journal - Growing pot isn’t green. Is it time for LEED weed?

Denver Post

  1. New study reveals massive energy consumption of pot industry

  2. Marijuana-growing spikes Denver electric demand, challenges clean-power plan

  3. Colorado pot grows used as much energy as 35,000 homes in 2014

  4. Buzzkill for utilities’ high hopes of legal-weed power surge [March 31, 2017]

Detroit News - As pot-growing expands, electricity demands tax grids

Discovery News – Pot growers not so green

East Oregonian - Power needs of pot industry raise issues with Energy Dept., utilities

Environment & Energy Publishing - Colorado struggles with marijuana’s huge carbon footprint - Cultivo de marihuana pone a preuba red electrica de Estados Unidos

Energy manager Today - Cannabis growers reduce energy consumption - Pot: the hidden power hog

Environmental Leader - Sustainable musings for the New Year

Examiner - Legal marijuana used $ 6billion worth of energy in 2015

Fast Company - Buzzkill of the day: U.S. marijuana industry responsible for $5 billion in energy consumption 


  1. New study reveals massive energy consumption of pot industry

  2. In The Bay Area, The Farm-To-Table And Legal Cannabis Movements Come Together

Fortune - The booming pot industry is draining the U.S. energy supply

Freakonomics - The $5 billion carbon footprint of indoor marijuana

Global Construction Review - Colorado’s cannabis construction boom


  1. Not so kind: weed growers suck down 1 percent of all U.S. electricity  (here)

  2. Making the pot business a little greener (here)

GoodPlanet Info - Cultivation of cannabis in the United States is dependent on fossil fuels May 7, 2017 (in French)

Grand Rapids Press - Report: indoor marijuana growing consumes 1 percent of U.S. electricity

Green Building Law Update - Indoor marijuana growing accounts for over 1% of all electric consumption in the U.S.

Green Economy Post - Grass is not so green: marijuana has a huge carbon footprint -  Fumare marijuana contribuisce al cambiamento climatico (Smoking marijuana contributes to a changing climate) - January 4, 2018


  1. Marijuana, top US crop, has a $5B power bill

  2. LEDs light up indoor farming and marijuana cultivation

  3. California Regulators Worry They’re Not Prepared for Energy-Use Surge From Legal Marijuana Growing (March 2, 2017)

  1. Climate change kills our buzz, and vice versa

  2. Can the pot industry make buds with sustainability?

  3. Everything you need to know about pot growing and the environment

The Guardian - Not so green: How the weed industry is a glutton for fossil fuels - June 20, 2017

High Country News - Pot growers put huge energy demand on the grid

High Times - The big grow debate: which is better indoor or outdoor? (cover story and various articles inside).  Links and de-obfuscation here.

Honolulu Weekly - How green is your pot?

Huffington Post - Marijuana carbon footprint: indoor pot production uses 1 percent of U.S. electricity, study says.  Second article Cannabis Carbon Footprint: Marijuana Industry’s Environmental Impact


  1. A greener bud

  2. Not green enough

International Business Times - How marijuana farms impact the environment

KALW Radio - Connecting the dots

KCBS Radio - Pot growers account for 8 percent of household electricity use in CA - Indoor pot farms are energy guzzlers, research shows

LA Times HS - Why smoking a blunt contributes to climate change - January 2, 2018)

LA Weekly - Marijuana grown indoors is bad for the environment: could legalizing it change that?

The Leaf - Legalization must reduce carbon footprint of cannabis

Marijuana Business Daily  - Chart of the week: Breakdown of energy use at a commercial cannabis cultivation site - January 5, 2015

Mendocino Country Independent - Measuring energy use for indoor grows

MIT Technology Review - Weed’s chronic energy use becomes a concern

Mother Jones - The landscape-scaring, energy-sucking, wildlife-killing reality of pot farming

Mother Jones - 24 mind-blowing facts about marijuana production in America

Motley Fool

  1. Will the marijuana industry ever go green? (December 4, 2016)

  2. Nearly half of all Americans fear this if weed is legalized (October 27, 2017)

The Nation - Is pot-growing bad for the environment?

National Geographic - The energy drain of recreational drugs

News Tribune - Power and water: will the feds allow it for pot?

New York Times - Marijuana growing gobbles electricity, study finds

New York Times - Study: pot growers inhale 1% of U.S. electricity, exhale GHGs of 3M cars

Next 100 - Pot: the hidden power hog

North Coast Journal - “Cannabis and Carbon” (April 20, 2017)

NPR - Marijuana not so green: study finds growing pot indoors Is energy intensive

Philly Inquirer - Pot farms burn $5B of US electricity/year: report

Politico - As pot growing expands, power demands tax U.S. electricity grid

Portland Mercury - Getting Baked

Portland Press Herald - Did you know marijuana is America’s most energy-intensive crop? (January 15, 2016).

Press Democrat - North Coast: Pot-growing power grab

Providence Journal - Marijuana industry, far from green, is a power hog (August 5, 2017)

Real-time with Bill Mahr - The mean side of green

Redheaded Blackbelt - Buy only sustainably grown marijuana and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil

Redheaded Blackbelt - Their weed habit causes a Fukoshima worth of power every year.

Richmond Confidential - City council fails to pass sustainable medical marijuana ordinance

Salon - Growing pot indoors is a major environmental problem

San Francisco Business Times - Marijuana causes global warming, uses 1% of U.S. electricity

San Francisco Chronicle - Pot grow houses eat 8 percent of California's residential electricity use

Seattle Post Intelligencer - Dude, your marijuana grow is sucking up megawatts (NY Times)

Sierra Sun - Opinion: Measure W a ‘dangerous, costly precedent’ for Nevada County

Southern California Public Radio - Greener pot: is there such a thing as energy efficient Cannabis?

State Journal-Register - Consider the environment as marijuana industry emerges in Illinois

SwiatOze - Nie takie „zielone” (Not so Green) (December 1, 2017) - Polish

Technology Review - Weed’s chronic energy use becomes a concern

The 420 Times - Indoor marijuana growing accounts for 1% of U.S. energy use

The Week - Marijuana isn't 'green?'

Times Standard - Keeping the lights on: Indoor pot growers skirt high electric bills through discount program for low income

Times Standard - Indoor pot grows carry heavy carbon price; scientist says education is ky to lowering carbon footprint of indoor pot grows - Marijuana industry responsible for 1% of US electricity consumption, has $5 billion energy bill

TruthOut - Thinking beyond big Marijuana

Tuscon Citizen - Marijuana causes global warming

YubaNet - The carbon footprint of indoor Cannabis production

Upstart Business Journal - Growing pot isn’t green; is it time for LEED weed?

USA Today - Boom in marijuana industry spurs sustainability concerns - This is the grid. This is the grid on legalized marijuana. Any questions?

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber - Company’s plans to grow marijuana indoors could strain the environment

The Verge - Weed greenhouses are so hot right now

Washington Post

  1. The surprisingly huge energy footprint of the booming marijuana industry

  2. One surprising downside of marijuana legalization: major energy use

WSBT - A study finds that indoor marijuana grows consume a staggering 1 percent of nation’s electricity



  1. -Ein Prozent des US-Stroms für Marihuana (One percent of US electricity use is for marijuana)


  1. -Le joint est mauvais pour l'environnement (Joints are bad for the environment)


  1. -Plantio de maconha nos EUA alimenta efeito estufa, diz cientista (Marijuana production in the US feeds global warming, says scientist)

  2. -Maconha: quanto cuesta o “barato” para o meio ambiente? (Marijuana: how much 

  3. -is “cheap” for the environment?)


  1. -Calgary Herald - Grass is not green

  2. -The Globe and Mail - The cost of growing marijuana

France -

  1. -La culture du Cannabis : une mauvaise chose pour l'environnement? (Cultivation of cannabis: bad for environment?)

  2. -La culture de Cannabis aux Etats-Unis représente 1 % de la consommation (Cannabis cultivation in the US is 1% of electricity consumption)

  3. -Fumer un joint est mauvais pour l'environnement (Smoking a joint is bad for the environment)

  4. -Journal de L’environnment - La culture illégale de marijuana: un mauvais plan pour le climat (The illegal cultivation of marijuana: a bad climate plan)

Germany - Energiefresser Marihuana (Marijuana: energy guzzler)


  1. -Η μαριχουάνα προκαλεί παγκόσμια υπερθέρμανση! (Marijuana causes global warming)


  1. -Good - Not So Kind: Weed growers suck down 1 percent of all U.S. electricity


  1. -La marijuana fa male: ai consumi energetici  (Marijuana hurts: energy consumption)


  1. -Consume cultivo de mariguana en interiores 1% de la producción de electricidad en EU (Indoor grown marijuana consumes 1% of us electricity)


  1. -Zaskakujące badanie nt. marihuany (Surprising study on marijuana)


  1. -EUA: Produção caseira de Cannabis representa 1% de todo o consumo de electricidade (USA: Production home Cannabis represents 1% of all electricity consumption)


  1. -Marijuana provoacă încălzirea globală (Marijuana causes global warming)

  2. -Producatorii de marijuana din SUA consuma energie de 5 miliarde de dolari (US marijuana growing uses energy costing $5 billion)


  1. -Producir un porro es como tener una bombilla encendida 75 horas (Producing a joint is like having a light bulb on for 75 hours)


  1. -Cannabisodlare hot mot miljön (Cannabis growers threat to environment)


  1. -HANFANBAU ALS STROMFRESSER Warnung: Dieser Joint kann Ihre Umwelt gefährden! - Neue Zürcher Zeitung (HEMP CULTIVATION AS POWER EATERS Warning: This joint can compromise your environment!) New Zurich Times


  1. -Esrar küresel ısınmaya sebep oluyor  (Marijuana causes global warming)


  1. -Pot is power hungry: why the marijuana industry's energy footprint is growing (The Guardian)