Worries Over Marijuana Industry’s Energy Use in Nevada

Nevada has no shortage of sunshine, but medical marijuana cultivators aren’t allowed to use natural lighting under the state’s MMJ law and instead must turn to high-cost, power-sucking lamps to grow plants.

The law – which says cannabis plants can’t be visible to outsiders for security reasons – is creating a quandary for growers who want to use less power. It’s also raising concerns among energy and state officials over how much electricity the industry will actually use.

On top of high power use and high costs to run bulbs around the clock, growers must also worry about cooling indoor grow sites.

A single cultivation site could use up to 5 megawatts of capacity, enough to power 1,000 homes, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. That may require upgrades to the existing power grid.

To offset the large amount of electricity growers use, companies are trying to find ways to make cannabis production more sustainable. Some are considering taking advantage of the abundance of sunlight in Nevada and use solar power or skylights that allow sunlight in.

Still, experts told the Review-Journal that indoor grows will always require a lot of energy to operate.

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8 comments on “Worries Over Marijuana Industry’s Energy Use in Nevada
  1. Brad on

    This is what happens when marijuana farmers are shut out from the regulation process. High production costs and a Godzilla sized carbon footprint. Grow outdoors and put a security fence around the grow scene.

  2. Jay Matts on

    These guys make me sick. You’d think they would have thought about this way before and planned ahead, but no, they’re just collecting money from the poor saps who think this could be a reality, it’s really sad. Opening up in the double digits of horticultural businesses and no one thinks about the power they’ll need until we’re waiting for them to open? I thought Nevadans were up above the daily hum and mercenaries of a thriving capitol. The amount of delays on this process has been disgusting.

  3. James on

    15 yes and Nevada still can’t get it right.Get green houses with side blackout curtains,the sun still comes thru and no one see’s in..

  4. Sheldoni on

    Indoor was a necessary and beneficial remedy to the evil of paramilitary raids on outdoor growers. It is the antithesis of sound cannabis policy, and the fortunes wasted on it will be another testament to government stupidity.

  5. johnathan aluitious hempseed lll on

    Most greenhouse materials are translucent not transparent. Rooftops can be secured for grow-ops. out side.LED grow lights are expensive,but should be required along with off grid (solar)or renewable energy sources for indoor growers.Investment tax credits can help defray the incredible start up costs of indoor gro-ops but this will keep the business in corporate hands and slow the drop in prices that would benefit consumers.Private,personal use cultivators can still choose dwarfing, horizontal, espalier or staked culture.They can and do also use smaller Indica strains,or Indica hybids, to hide behind the tomato plants. Being restricted to indoor growing is just ridiculous!

  6. Incoguido on

    The potential is amazing here in Nevada if looked at with a sane eye.. Greenhouse technology and water recirculating systems could turn this area into one of the most efficient, low cost and high quality output regions, with a very light carbon footprint compatibly to other industries.

  7. James on

    All the energy concerns are solved with using natural gas as your primary source for cooling the facility, as many growers are finding out here in Nevada. see

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