Energy use by cannabis industry declining with increased efficiency, outdoor grows

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With local restrictions on marijuana easing across the U.S., power suppliers from California to Maine were expecting a little buzz of their own from newly legitimate pot farmers. After all, a 5,000-square-foot warehouse filled with hydroponic growing systems can draw five times the electricity of a typical industrial user.

But after an initial jolt in electricity use, when Western states began legalizing marijuana cultivation and sales, demand has fallen off in some areas, according to utilities and analysts. That’s partly because the once-illicit business may no longer have to keep plants hidden from law enforcement and producers are upgrading to energy-efficient lights, pumps and cooling systems.

“You have to ask yourself: Why is weed grown indoors?” said Paul Patterson, a utility analyst at Glenrock Associates in New York. “As it becomes legal, you’re going to see more go outside or in greenhouses.”

This article was originally published in The Cannabist. Click here to read more.

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