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Can The United States Power Grid Keep Up With The Marijuana Industry?


indoor marijuana gardenI once rented a house for the sole purpose of growing marijuana in it. I had seven 1000 watt lights, a handful of industrial fans, a bunch of box fans, air purifiers, and numerous other grow items that required electricity. My electricity bill was at about $700 per month. At the time I thought that was quite a bill until I met people that have electricity bills in the thousands.

I’ve heard in Colorado there are industrial gardens that have bills in the tens of thousands of dollars. It doesn’t surprise me. I once visited an old airplane hanger in Colorado that was converted into a marijuana garden. They guy that was giving me the tour refused to tell me how much the electricity bill was because he was scared that I would publish it, but assured me that it was insane.

With so many industrial marijuana gardens popping up, and so many home gardens starting all over the country (recreational and medical), that’s a tremendous amount of electricity being used. According to a study from 2011, 1% of the United States’ electricity is used by indoor marijuana gardens. That equates to seven large electrical plants. And since that study was done in 2011, I can guarantee that number is larger and growing everyday. With Colorado and Washington increasing the amount of their industrial gardens soon, and more states looking to legalize, there’s no end in sight to the growing demand for electricity.

What will this do to the nation’s power grid? I read all the time about America’s aging power grid. How long until we see an electrical blackout in Colorado or on the West Coast? Will power companies be able to meet the growing demand in order to avoid a blackout? It’s something that a lot of marijuana growers and consumers don’t think about. I will close with a quote from a grower in Colorado:

“Energy consumption in this business is pretty astronomical,” marijuana business owner John Kocer told CBS Denver. “As this industry expands at its current pace I do believe that we will be a tax on the energy grid: something has to change.”

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Johnny Green


  1. How to prevent unwanted pollination: Labor Intensive. Get out there daily throughout growing season and clip all male buds for tea and cakes.

  2. So I take it all this grow/light/computer driven halogen stuff is just that, popycock. I’m an outdoor grower myself and I noticed my trichome development improved in the sunshine. Visibly. I’m also totally organic and aquaponic.

  3. Wouldn’t a natural progression be to halogen and solar as well as wind energy, not forgetting gas from human waste ! We solve these problems not with the ideas that got us in this mess in the first place. And Hemp, where a lot of focus needs be directed grows wild outdoors. As does the recreational stuff.

  4. why do you need a power grid for the sun , be pure be part of the earth, be one with nature …. true medicine is not dependent but natural as the cycle of life , why pay to be healthy,

  5. We need to go backwards a little, and grow outdoors what we need to get us through until we can harvest again, be it food, or bud. In a perfect world. Could happen! Needs to be legal to grow first.

  6. Funny, how this topic was about the strain of indoor growing yet as stoners we (myself included get off track). As a whole the USA is wasteful for electricity, or fossil fuels (used for generators). Why not use solar or for that matter use a diesel generator that runs on hemp oil. Imagine that a pot crop the produced its own electricity. When we legalize for good if you can grow out doors and don’t you should be fined. There are also states out there where the climate isn’t conducive to t growing the of marijuana due to the cross pollination of ditch weed.

    Johnny your stud, I can tell from following you the last couple of months your well educated not only our side, but you also step back and look at the other side. It’s sad to say that the marijuana war isn’t about what it was in the day love, peace and tolerance. There are a few of us out there, but sadly so many people want to turn it in another fortune 500 product. How dare people corrupt such a beautiful plant.

  7. 1.
    Marijuana has been a nationally discussed
    product since the legalization of it in certain states. Fourteen state laws
    have overturn federal laws with the intent to help citizens medically while
    avoiding any further prosecution of citizens. Colorado and one other state have
    passed laws for recreational use of marijuana along with other laws in all
    fourteen states that will help to avoid any future problems with income
    generated from marijuana. Now that states ore legalizing marijuana, the country
    should too. The estimated $1 trillion of dollars lost from the war on marijuana
    in the U.S. Economy since 1970 could have been great improving our economy if
    the federal government had realized this natural medicinal plant is not worth
    decriminalizing. There is not much data to prove that the war on marijuana will
    end but if it does, the U.S. citizens and its economy could have a positive
    outcome. If the federal government legalizes it, the state laws will give a
    good guideline for the federal laws.

  8. ONLY 8 DAYS LEFT! We need to end this failing Drug prohibition once and for all! Show your support for the legalization of medical/general use of marijuana with this ” POWER TO THE PATIENTS” Shirt! Quick there’s no time to worry about what the government thinks ACT NOW > http://teespring.com/MedMJ

  9. Johnny Bloomington on

    So the electric co. will built more plants. It’s not like the electric co is making less money. Not a big deal.

  10. The Grim Reefer on

    They work great for veg, but they do not produce what traditional HPS and Halide does. I met Ed Rosenthal recently and this topic came up. I trust his opinion over yours. I have not only done homework but a highly controlled grow using the same clones and nutes and feeding, regular lights produced on average 30 to 40% more buds, and fatter nugs

  11. Legalize it completely and the problem is gone! It is a plant like mint, tomatoes, tangerines, apples, grapes, sage, chamomile, etc. People grow it indoors because they are paranoid of police and criminals interfering with their grows! Outdoor can produce as good, or better weed than indoor! I’m smoking on some frosty outdoor Platinum OG from Humboldt that most people would think is really strong indoor “top-shelf dank”. The flavor is so good and is so easy on the throat to smoke, compared to most indoor buds I’ve acquired. The THC is at least 20%. Nothing beats natural grown organic herb!!!

  12. Growing indoors or under glass in greenhouses prevents useful UV light to reach the plants… Outdoor is free.

  13. LEDs can now grow more of better marihuana with same elektricity consumption. Do ya homework bro. You just need to put in some form of white light and they work like magic…

  14. There is no necessity to grow under lights. Wine grapes require climate conditions similar to cannabis. Nobody anywhere grows wine grapes indoors. They are grown where the climate allows. Wine is shipped to places without local production. The only reason indoor growing developed was Prohibition. Prior to mid to late 80s, there was no indoor production to speak of. All pot was outdoor.

    Other seasonal crops are carefully stored for offseason distribution. The same is entirely possible for outdoor bud. In fact it has been done for many years by NorCal outdoor growers. Seasonal sun growing is much less costly in every way and way more environmentally sound. Not only that, but despite claims that indoor is stronger or cleaner, it just isn’t true. Because large scale outdoor isn’t allowed by the Feds, a normal, functional outdoor industry can’t develop. When they get out of the way, it would. When that happens, done right, it would kill indoor production, which couldn’t possibly compete on costs.

  15. Vincent Nibblin on

    That is what black boxing is, you use black plastic to control the amount of hours the receive to induce the plants to flower. You can do this year round in certain areas of the US.

  16. This is a problem the future will bring. Black box growing should be used year round in climates that will permit it. Green house grows using black boxing would work in states with sunny winter months, heat using natural gas or propane would provide heat during the night. The only other solution is natural gas and propane generators to supply power to the grow site. Diesel generators would produce too much air pollution to be a good solution, many off grid growers use diesel generators for their indoor grows. Designing grow operations of the future should utilize the sun as much as possible and natural gas and propane for energy. Just my thoughts.

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