US (CA): Study shows cannabis farms not as thirsty as previously thought

A recent study from the University of California Berkley Cannabis Research Center found permitted cannabis farmers are consuming less water than previously thought.

The Cannabis Research Center began researching water use on cannabis farms in 2017, shortly after cannabis was legalized for recreational use in California. Studies have focused on water use reports from farmers enrolled in the state’s cannabis cultivation program as well as anonymous farmer surveys.

“There is growing concern over the impacts of cannabis farms on the environment and water resources in particular, yet data on cultivation practices and water use patterns have been limited,” according to the study. “… The current study uses data reported by enrollees in California’s North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board Cannabis Program to model how variation in cultivation practices and the use of stored water affect the timing and amount of water extracted from the environment.”

Natalynne DeLapp, executive director of the Humboldt County Growers Alliance, said the research coincided with what her organization has seen locally.

“It’s a really timely (study) given how important these conversations are right now,” she said. “I think some people have an idea that cannabis is a particularly thirsty plant and it’s never been true. Now that we’re a few years into legalization and have more data, it’s good to see that reflected in the academic research.”


Publication date:

Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here

Other news in this sector:

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber