We all know this but it is good to see that the reporting, if anything, on the issue is growing.
“Because peak water demand for cannabis occurs in the dry season, when streamflow is at its lowest levels, even small diversions can dry streams and harm aquatic plants and animals,” a study from the center said.
Some jurisdictions are fighting back. California’s Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors in May banned trucks carrying 100 gallons or more of water from using roads leading to arid tracts where some 2,000 illegal marijuana grows were purportedly using millions of gallons of water daily.
The illegal grows are “depleting precious groundwater and surface water resources” and jeopardizing agricultural, recreational and residential water use, the county ordinance says.
In Oregon, the number of illegal grows appears to have increased recently as the Pacific Northwest endured its driest spring since 1924.
Many are operating under the guise of being hemp farms, legalized nationally under the 2018 Farm Bill, said Mark Pettinger, spokesman for the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. Under the law, hemp’s maximum THC content — the compound that gives cannabis its high — must be no greater than 0.3%. Fibers of the hemp plant are used in making rope, clothing, paper and other products.