Endesa, one of Spain’s largest power companies, said one of its transformers overloaded in August due to “massive fraud, especially by marijuana plantations.”
The New York Times dug in deeper and found that the rise in illegal cannabis grows may have led to an increase in blackouts in Granada.
Endesa blamed the blackouts on cannabis growers illegally connecting to the grid to power the lights and other electric components of their operations.
A representative for the power company told the publication that illegal cannabis grows accounted for one-third of the electricity stolen in 2022.
Officials blame the rise in cannabis farms on Spain’s relatively lenient pot laws.
But customers challenge that using cannabis as a scapegoat gets the power company off the hook for repairing its aging infrastructure.