Group Pushing For Outdoor Cannabis Farming In Mass. Amid High Energy Use

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A local advocacy group is pushing for the state's marijuana farming industry to use less energy, and says a change in state law could make the difference.

The Northeast Sustainable Cannabis Project said indoor weed farming uses a massive amount of electricity — it estimates that 10% of the state's industrial energy use goes to indoor cannabis farms.

"It's inconsistent...with the state's goals to try to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050," said Sanford Lewis, the general counsel for the group.

The group says the state's pesticide laws for cannabis farming are part of the problem. Lewis said he talked to many pot farmers who would like to grow their plants outside — and therefore use less energy. The farmers said they can't protect their plants from bugs and diseases without organic pesticides, which the state doesn't allow for marijuana growing.

"It's a real impediment given the threat of harmful mold," he said.

Organic pesticides are materials that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows in the use of organic farming.

The group is supporting a bill by State Representative Paul Mark (D-Peru), that would allow the use of those pesticides that are approved by the EPA for organic farming.

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports:

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

(Photo: Kim Tunnicliffe/WBZ NewsRadio)

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