Letters to the Editor

Company’s plans to grow marijuana indoors could strain the environment

I am happy that the initiative to legalize marijuana passed and that we have an opportunity to regulate the drug and end the failed attempt to control the substance through criminalization. For that reason I welcome EdiPure as a prospective business that will provide good jobs to the island.

However, the current plans that the EdiPure company has to grow 90,000 square feet of marijuana indoors at the K2 building have one achilles heel or fatal flaw: a massive electrical load on our grid for a product that grows well in the sunshine.

I have done the calculations for this and am alarmed by the electrical load using even the most efficient solutions for growing in a dark warehouse. My calculated best case is a five-megawatt lighting load for the grow lights alone. Using standard grow cycles, this would amount to 21,900,000 kilowatt-hours annually. Folks, that’s over 100 times the energy produced by all the solar electrical systems on our island. Here on Sun Island Farm, we grow and process fruits and vegetables on about 160,000 square feet of outdoor growing area, almost double that of the proposed indoor operation at K2. Our farm and household energy use combined amount to about one 3,000th of the energy I believe EdiPure will need for its grow lights. My calculation, based on carbon footprint data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, is the carbon footprint for the indoor lighting at K2 would be 23,900 tons of CO2 annually.

I would like to see K2 inhabited by an industry that is idealistic and economically viable, both of which EdiPure appears to be. But please, for our children’s planet, grow plants using real sunshine.

If you have questions about the national implications of this issue, Google Evan Mills indoor cannabis production.

— Joe Yarkin


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