Greening the Grow–KQED Talks About Marijuana and the Environment

Indoor and outdoor growers in Humboldt both hope that explaining the environmental damage of indoor grows will cause consumers to rethink their choices.  If buyers start realizing the value of organic outdoor marijuana, then prices for outdoor will rise and growers can farm in the sun.  Growers can choose the method that is easier on the earth and produces what most farmers I’ve spoken to feel is a better product.

KQED radio in the Bay Area just put out a excellent piece on the effects of indoor grows. Listen to it here on QUEST . The reporter describes how one of our local dispensaries produces all its own marijuana indoors at cost of around $4500 per month in electrical bills.

Once again, the Schatz chart below was referenced which shows how Humboldt County’s electrical use paralleled California’s for years but circa 2001, Humboldt’s use rose dramatically.  Probably in response to large amounts of indoor grows. As the authors of the study say, “By 2007, the last year we have data for, that extra consumption amounted to an average of 61 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month for each Humboldt County resident or 145 kWh for each household.”

Hopefully, as more consumers think about the choices they make when purchasing pot, indoor will be less in demand and outdoor prices will become more equivalent which will allow marijuana producers to choose growing in the sun rather than growing in unsustainable indoor plantations.

As the reporter, Lisa Morehouse told me, “”…I am having so many people tell me “I never thought of those issues before!”  I know for you all it’s kind of a “no, duh” message, but it’s so new for folks outside the industry.”

Now if we can just educate the consumer on the flavor, better quality, as well the superior environmental qualities of outdoor.

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15 comments

  • Over the years I’ve watched the emergence of indoor bud and the decline of outdoor grows.
    I know one person who has grown outdoor for decades. Three years ago he was stuck with 15 pounds of processed outdoor – that he eventually practically gave away! He doesn’t want the hassel of growing indoors, so he no longer grows.

    I think indoor bud’s initial popularity was because the product was stonier, looked beautiful, and smelled wonderful. Especially when consumers compared outdoor (at the time of indoor’s emergence) and it looked 2nd class.

    Pot Industry trade mags like High Times, are responsible for the fame of the indoor grow. Stoner’s drool when they look at the photo layouts of crystal-ladden indoor beauties.
    Word of mouth also played a key roll in the emergence of indoor bud. For years now, most pot magazines have pushed the indoor agenda (good for their advertisers who sell all the necessary supplies for an indoor grow).
    Recently, an arguement has been made that the outdoor plants today are just as good, if not better, than indoor bud.

    It’ll take awhile before outdoor catches up in popularity, but I believe the signs are good, especially if weed is legalized. There’s always going to be consumers who”ll believe that the best is grown indoors. That message has been around for two decades, and it’s going to take a lot of education before people realize that outdoor can be the bomb too.

  • Over the years I’ve watched the emergence of indoor bud and the decline of outdoor grows.
    I know one person who has grown outdoor for decades. Three years ago he was stuck with 15 pounds of processed outdoor – that he eventually practically gave away! He doesn’t want the hassel of growing indoors, so he no longer grows.

    I think indoor bud’s initial popularity was because the product was stonier, looked beautiful, and smelled wonderful. Especially when consumers compared outdoor (at the time of indoor’s emergence) and it looked 2nd class.

    Pot Industry trade mags like High Times, are responsible for the fame of the indoor grow. Stoner’s drool when they look at the photo layouts of crystal-ladden indoor beauties.
    Word of mouth also played a key roll in the emergence of indoor bud. For years now, most pot magazines have pushed the indoor agenda (good for their advertisers who sell all the necessary supplies for an indoor grow).
    Recently, an arguement has been made that the outdoor plants today are just as good, if not better, than indoor bud.

    It’ll take awhile before outdoor catches up in popularity, but I believe the signs are good, especially if weed is legalized. There’s always going to be consumers who”ll believe that the best is grown indoors. That message has been around for two decades, and it’s going to take a lot of education before people realize that outdoor can be the bomb too.

  • Thanks for keeping the spotlight on energy consumption, Kym. As the oil disaster in the Gulf unfolds, it’s important for us to remember which of our habits are truly harmful. You can’t always taste the diesel and coal in the weed, but it’s still in every indoor bud.

  • Thanks for keeping the spotlight on energy consumption, Kym. As the oil disaster in the Gulf unfolds, it’s important for us to remember which of our habits are truly harmful. You can’t always taste the diesel and coal in the weed, but it’s still in every indoor bud.

  • Pingback: The gateway drug to extinction « High Like Me

  • Pingback: The gateway drug to extinction « High Like Me

  • Unfortunately, in many connoisseur circles outside of California, Outdoor pot (and California in general) don’t happen to be synonymous with quality herb these days. While traveling, I hear comments like “ahh, that shit looks like Cali Work” when someone breaks out some less-than-desirable meds, or “California ain’t got shit on this!” when showing off their latest harvest of SFV Kush, (ironically grown over 1200 miles away from San Fernando Valley). Many times I bite my tongue; I realize much of it is trivial banter, but when it seems bitter I try to educate people about the positives behind organic farming, and how the outdoor high might not be as intense initially as your favorite hydro (yuk!) but it will last longer and you’ll actually feel better (no headaches, brah!).

    To be fair though, it seems that generally people outside of CA only see CA’s worst crap, and it’s easy to see why ‘they be hatin’!’ The best of the best generally goes to LA or the Bay for top dollar, or is kept for head stash in the circles that produce it. The B grade goes as far as it can go for as much profit as it can make. I mean, how many middle men does it take to get a bag of schwagg to the East Coast anyway? The cheaper it is when it leaves here, the more hands it can/will go through to get there. Maybe the real problem isn’t CA, but that supplier that is simply buying the cheapest product he can find and selling it back in BFE for regular A-grade prices. Imagine how the end buyer feels once he/she finds out how that hustle works!

    Also worth mentioning, it’s well known that you can find A++ quality organic indoor in any state depending on who you know, whereas great outdoor is limited to very few regions in the US. I think this also contributes greatly to Outdoors’ lower popularity.

    This brings me to my point – actually there isn’t one. In all honesty, it’s more of a quick conclusion to a pointless ramble. As far as the real heads go, it seems to me (just another random traveler and fan of tasty buds), that it will be hard, but not impossible for Humboldt to bring that quality reputation back to the brand name, if that’s what you want to do. The good news is that if/once legal, Humboldt Blunts will be in higher demand than Cuban Cigars among the hipsters, and these casual smokers who care less about quality and more about image will make up a far larger market share than the connoisseurs, who will probably still be growing their own anyway.

  • Unfortunately, in many connoisseur circles outside of California, Outdoor pot (and California in general) don’t happen to be synonymous with quality herb these days. While traveling, I hear comments like “ahh, that shit looks like Cali Work” when someone breaks out some less-than-desirable meds, or “California ain’t got shit on this!” when showing off their latest harvest of SFV Kush, (ironically grown over 1200 miles away from San Fernando Valley). Many times I bite my tongue; I realize much of it is trivial banter, but when it seems bitter I try to educate people about the positives behind organic farming, and how the outdoor high might not be as intense initially as your favorite hydro (yuk!) but it will last longer and you’ll actually feel better (no headaches, brah!).

    To be fair though, it seems that generally people outside of CA only see CA’s worst crap, and it’s easy to see why ‘they be hatin’!’ The best of the best generally goes to LA or the Bay for top dollar, or is kept for head stash in the circles that produce it. The B grade goes as far as it can go for as much profit as it can make. I mean, how many middle men does it take to get a bag of schwagg to the East Coast anyway? The cheaper it is when it leaves here, the more hands it can/will go through to get there. Maybe the real problem isn’t CA, but that supplier that is simply buying the cheapest product he can find and selling it back in BFE for regular A-grade prices. Imagine how the end buyer feels once he/she finds out how that hustle works!

    Also worth mentioning, it’s well known that you can find A++ quality organic indoor in any state depending on who you know, whereas great outdoor is limited to very few regions in the US. I think this also contributes greatly to Outdoors’ lower popularity.

    This brings me to my point – actually there isn’t one. In all honesty, it’s more of a quick conclusion to a pointless ramble. As far as the real heads go, it seems to me (just another random traveler and fan of tasty buds), that it will be hard, but not impossible for Humboldt to bring that quality reputation back to the brand name, if that’s what you want to do. The good news is that if/once legal, Humboldt Blunts will be in higher demand than Cuban Cigars among the hipsters, and these casual smokers who care less about quality and more about image will make up a far larger market share than the connoisseurs, who will probably still be growing their own anyway.

  • mary jane brady

    This whole debate is a joke, Outdoor growers are just mad because the good old days of little competition and pot smokers who could only distinguish if it was yellow, green or had seeds in it or not. is all over. Today we have a sophisticated smoker who knows what strains they want, they want them grown they way they want and etc. The reason outdoor weed sucks and gets a bad rep is because there is so many novice / crappy outdoor growers who just grow tons of shwag and have too much to proccess that it cures / drys all funky or is old by the time it makes it to market. outdoor growers are there own worst enemy, complaining about indoor growers who most outdoor growers are jealous of is pointless, your not going to drive the diesal folks outta the hills they are here to stay and a bunch of hippies isnt going to re-educate the consumer as to what weed is better, smokers arent stupid they will pay more if your product is worth it but when you grow crappy outdoor that is covered in bugs and gets rained on late season then you are in no position to act asif indoor weed is polluted. There is absolutly nothing wrong with consuming energy and growing indoor, every industry consums energy and its the lifeblood of the economy telling people to simply ¨put it in the sun¨ is a total elitist snob move, sure id love to put it in the sun maybe if i first owned a 500,000 dollar property in salmon creek i could do that, but untill everyone who wants to put it in the sun can they will rent apartments and grow it indoors. And people will pay more for it because it was grown in a more steril enviroment . INdoor growers usualy grow smaller more conesour crops that they can spend more time attending to and thus make sure the quality is higher unlike outdoor growers who can only grow once a year thus grow big and do a sloppy job because its too much work for them and it gets ahead of them.

  • mary jane brady

    This whole debate is a joke, Outdoor growers are just mad because the good old days of little competition and pot smokers who could only distinguish if it was yellow, green or had seeds in it or not. is all over. Today we have a sophisticated smoker who knows what strains they want, they want them grown they way they want and etc. The reason outdoor weed sucks and gets a bad rep is because there is so many novice / crappy outdoor growers who just grow tons of shwag and have too much to proccess that it cures / drys all funky or is old by the time it makes it to market. outdoor growers are there own worst enemy, complaining about indoor growers who most outdoor growers are jealous of is pointless, your not going to drive the diesal folks outta the hills they are here to stay and a bunch of hippies isnt going to re-educate the consumer as to what weed is better, smokers arent stupid they will pay more if your product is worth it but when you grow crappy outdoor that is covered in bugs and gets rained on late season then you are in no position to act asif indoor weed is polluted. There is absolutly nothing wrong with consuming energy and growing indoor, every industry consums energy and its the lifeblood of the economy telling people to simply ¨put it in the sun¨ is a total elitist snob move, sure id love to put it in the sun maybe if i first owned a 500,000 dollar property in salmon creek i could do that, but untill everyone who wants to put it in the sun can they will rent apartments and grow it indoors. And people will pay more for it because it was grown in a more steril enviroment . INdoor growers usualy grow smaller more conesour crops that they can spend more time attending to and thus make sure the quality is higher unlike outdoor growers who can only grow once a year thus grow big and do a sloppy job because its too much work for them and it gets ahead of them.

  • MaryJane, you are right that not everyone has the opportunity to grow outdoors. I also know that until people get better at dep crops, people who need raw cannabis are only going to be able to get it by growing indoors. Those are two good reasons to grow indoor.

    However, I disagree with “There is absolutly nothing wrong with consuming energy and growing indoor, every industry consums energy and its the lifeblood of the economy.” We all need to be more careful of the earth’s resources. Every industry need to reduce their energy consumption because oil and coal are finite resources and we will run out of them.

    There are bad outdoor growers who produce schwag. There are good outdoor growers who produce quality. Same with indoor.

    However, I take exception to the preference for a sterile environment that indoor grows can provide (most aren’t sterile because they are run by people who aren’t well informed but some are.) Not too long ago, anti bacterial soap was touted as wonderful–helping create a sterile germfree home. Now, studies have shown that in reality the anti bacterial aspect simply causes problems. Mother Nature has had thousands of years to get it right–mankind is still learning what right is. Nobody suggests that tomatoes or cucumbers etc. should be grown in a sterile environment. Neither should cannabis.

  • MaryJane, you are right that not everyone has the opportunity to grow outdoors. I also know that until people get better at dep crops, people who need raw cannabis are only going to be able to get it by growing indoors. Those are two good reasons to grow indoor.

    However, I disagree with “There is absolutly nothing wrong with consuming energy and growing indoor, every industry consums energy and its the lifeblood of the economy.” We all need to be more careful of the earth’s resources. Every industry need to reduce their energy consumption because oil and coal are finite resources and we will run out of them.

    There are bad outdoor growers who produce schwag. There are good outdoor growers who produce quality. Same with indoor.

    However, I take exception to the preference for a sterile environment that indoor grows can provide (most aren’t sterile because they are run by people who aren’t well informed but some are.) Not too long ago, anti bacterial soap was touted as wonderful–helping create a sterile germfree home. Now, studies have shown that in reality the anti bacterial aspect simply causes problems. Mother Nature has had thousands of years to get it right–mankind is still learning what right is. Nobody suggests that tomatoes or cucumbers etc. should be grown in a sterile environment. Neither should cannabis.

  • I personally don’t like the whole idea of Hydro…just doen’t seem right to me, but thats just me. Personally I do my veg. stage in the sun then move the pots under lights for the bud stage. I am small, not for profit, only grow for myself but my elec. bills have not skyrocketed this way and what I grow is a good quality. I use dirt from Humboldt….potting soil that I was turned on to while visiting a nursery there. My system seems to be working very well, except that some of my plants are getting too big in the sun to fit under the lights I have……This was my solution to the whole indoor vs. outdoor thing and keeps my concious fairly clear on the environmental issues.

  • look there is no “either / or ” concept This is just part of the story we have been living. It’s just about what is going on in our part of the world and each opinion is just what things look like from where we sit in a circle.

    We are all here to stay. It is a challenge to grow good strong organic smoke. We know what we have to do…not be hatin . Just do what we came here to do…dance, garden, sing, smoke, write poetry, do artwork, raise our families . Just as there is plenty of room for all us carpenters and massage therapists..there is plenty room for all of us growers and .it takes all kines to be here. Swag sells for less period…or gets composted. If you dont shake your plants in the rain; you will have a problem. ..and if you dont open and close bags …it wont cure right…People do screw up a good harvest outside and inside if you let the ball drop. Do what we do to the best of our knowledge..and keep up. What happens after that is up to the middle person anyway.

  • look there is no “either / or ” concept This is just part of the story we have been living. It’s just about what is going on in our part of the world and each opinion is just what things look like from where we sit in a circle.

    We are all here to stay. It is a challenge to grow good strong organic smoke. We know what we have to do…not be hatin . Just do what we came here to do…dance, garden, sing, smoke, write poetry, do artwork, raise our families . Just as there is plenty of room for all us carpenters and massage therapists..there is plenty room for all of us growers and .it takes all kines to be here. Swag sells for less period…or gets composted. If you dont shake your plants in the rain; you will have a problem. ..and if you dont open and close bags …it wont cure right…People do screw up a good harvest outside and inside if you let the ball drop. Do what we do to the best of our knowledge..and keep up. What happens after that is up to the middle person anyway.

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