How Much Electricity Does Indoor-Grown Pot Use?

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Ariel Schwartz of Fast Company dug up some fun energy facts about indoor-grown marijuana. Namely, a new study by Lawrence Berkeley Lab's Evan Mills found that the pot that goes into a single joint requires 1,700 watt-hours of electricity. That's like taking a common 60-watt light bulb and leaving it on for more than a day.

The sobering news comes from a report by Evan Mills, a longtime energy analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs who, uh, has a friend who told him about all this weed stuff. According to Mills, the problem can be traced back to the high-intensity lighting, dehumidification, air-conditioning, irrigation systems, space-heating, and ventilation systems that all go into making sure marijuana plants grow up to be healthy, smokeable adults. And since the industry operates in the shadows, it hasn't felt the consumer pressure to go green (rimshot!).

Read the full story at Fast Company.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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