It's Time to Make Marijuana Green Again
Reliance on indoor cultivation is not a green policy
Lamp efficiency can’t compete with sunlight in energy — or water — savings
Marketing practices drive consumers to favor high-polluting production methods
Ignoring the issue has not worked to reduce the carbon footprint
Regulations should favor sunlight grown cannabis, greenhouse or outdoors
Fortunately, there are bold yet well-proven ways forward, including those that go beyond garden-variety energy efficiency improvements. A requirement for indoor cultivation should be that facilities be highly energy efficient with all power generated on-site using renewable energy sources. This “Net Zero” approach is already a goal that the federal government and many states are applying to ordinary types of facilities. Even highly energy-intensive tech companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Google are voluntarily showing us that this is possible in hyper-scale data centers. Time-proven tools like building energy codes and product labeling, together with utility programs familiar to every other energy-using segment of the economy can help achieve this. Better yet, marijuana can be grown securely and sustainably outdoors.