Create a free Cannabis Equipment News account to continue

Cannabis Farms Threaten Water, Power Supplies

One local official suggested that he could “run out of water.”

Three years ago, Oklahoma joined the growing majority of U.S. states with legalized medical marijuana.

But unlike in other states, officials imposed little to no restrictions on cannabis cultivation — leading to what’s now considered the “Wild West” of marijuana.

The phenomenon created a host of problems, from rapidly rising land prices to an inability to track where Oklahoma-grown marijuana is shipped.

The latest issue, local officials warned NPR, could be the strain placed on utilities in the state.

Water district managers, particularly in rural Oklahoma, said a surge in water demand from cannabis farms could compromise decades-old pipes.

One told the network that he projects the district will “run out of water” entirely.

The arrival of large growing operations, meanwhile, also sparked a huge jump in demand for electricity.

Should utilities need to add more capacity, local residents could be left holding the bill for new power infrastructure — if and when the state’s cannabis bubble bursts.

More in Video