Arizona cannabis

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Arizona cannabis: Proposition 207 was a ballot initiative that made cannabis lawful for recreational use in November 2020, passing with 60$ of the vote. A similar ballot initiative, Proposition 205, narrowly failed in 2016, and the persistence of big spending by the cannabis industry is what pushed it through 4 years later.

Cannabis water use is immense, and this has worsened the intensifying water shortage in Arizona.

Total sales of cannabis in Arizona, recreational and medical, reached $134 million in March 2022, which was slightly higher than its record of a year earlier. Sales then declined in April.[1]

At a cost about $250-$300 per ounce, that sales level constitutes about 500,000 ounces of pot per month, each of which would have required 10 or more gallons to grow. Hence Arizona is wasting 5 million gallons of water per month on legal cannabis, amid an extreme water shortage that is worsening.

But studies show that illegal cannabis is about 3 times as large as legal cannabis in states that have legalized it for recreational use. So the actual water consumption by cannabis plants is 4 times as great as what is associated with the reported lawful cannabis sales.

Thus in Arizona about $20 million gallons of water per month are being wasted on legal and illegal cannabis cultivation, amid a terrible water shortage. The average person uses about 3,000 gallons of water per month,[2] so ongoing cannabis water waste in Arizona is more than that used by 6,000 residents for daily living purposes.