Canada’s Keen on Cannabis, But this Green Rush Isn’t so Green

Asparagus Magazine, Dec. 6, 2018

Step into the flowering room at any of Canada’s 130-plus legal cannabis producers, and you’ll be struck by the orange glow of high-pressure sodium lamps. Then you’ll hear the whir of air-circulating fans and HVAC systems. You probably won’t notice the finely tuned temperature and humidity levels those systems maintain. All these climate controls require energy — lots of it. A single joint’s worth of marijuana grown through conventional indoor cultivation techniques produces around 1.5 kilograms of carbon emissions, equivalent to powering a 100-Watt light bulb for 25 hours, or driving a hybrid car about 40 kilometres. Canada’s short growing season may only be amenable to one or two grow cycles per year, though. To maximize profit and produce enough inventory to keep up with soaring consumer demand, it might make more sense to cultivate cannabis year-round in an equatorial country where the climate and day length are ideally suited to the plant’s needs, and then ship the plant or its pharmaceutically active extracts back up north. That’s exactly what … PharmaCielo is doing. …