But energy efficiency measures could blunt the impact.
Recreational marijuana recently became legal in Illinois and Michigan. But for cannabis plants to thrive year-round in the Midwest, they must be grown indoors. So as the industry expands, its energy use could easily get, well, pretty high.
“Lighting is one of the largest energy uses of an indoor cultivation facility, followed closely by heating and cooling and then dehumidification,” says Molly Graham of the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.