As marijuana becomes legal in more and more states across the country, people are wondering, are marijuana farms environmentally friendly?
With increasing medical and recreational legalization, there are more cannabis farms now than there ever has been before. But how does this impact our environment? Is this sustainable over time?
Here at Louisiana Marijuana Card, we not only want to be your go-to medical marijuana card provider but also your number source of marijuana news. So in today’s blog, we will be discussing the sustainability of marijuana farms in the States.
How Do Marijuana Farms Impact the Environment?
Recently a new study came out that suggests outdoor cannabis farms may not use as much water as was previously presumed. This study showed that cannabis farms actually used significantly less water than almond farms, which is California's top agricultural commodity!
Both almond farms and cannabis farms are more prevalent in California which is where this study was focused. Originally, environmentalists believed that cannabis farms weren’t sustainable due to the large amount of water that they used.
While this study is not revealing cannabis farms to be particularly sustainable, they are showing that cannabis farms aren’t “thirstier” than any other crop. It was shown that legal outdoor growing used about as much water as a tomato farm would.
One way to look at the water sustainability issue with crops is to look at the amount of output produced per single gallon of water. For example, crops like tomatoes and almonds produce 1/10th of a cent to 2 cents in value per single gallon of water used to produce them. This shows that they take up way more water than the produce is actually worth. On the other hand, cannabis produces $7 worth of value per single gallon of water used. This is much better!
There is still research to be done to expand upon this study. For one, this study only looked at legal outdoor cannabis farms in California. There are plenty of unregulated farms producing marijuana that didn’t report any data on water usage. Second, California is notorious for having water issues as they struggle with droughts and fires. Outdoor cannabis farms in other states may use even less water due to having rain on their side such as in Colorado or Oregon.
Either way, this study does give us hope that cannabis farms can be more sustainable over time!
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