Cannabis has a carbon problem

By Jonathan Thompson

Location, location, location: That’s the deciding factor when it comes to the size of marijuana cultivation’s carbon footprint, according to a new study out of Colorado State University.

The paper’s authors, led by Hailey Summers, confirmed previous findings that indoor pot-growing gobbles up huge amounts of electricity and can cause high greenhouse gas emissions. Their research also quantifies emission differences from place to place: A kilogram of cannabis cultivated in Long Beach, California, for example, has a smaller carbon footprint than one grown in Denver, Colorado.

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