Cannabis and smog

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Cannabis and smog: studies show that cannabis is a significant cause of increased smog and terrible air quality.


According to new research, strongly scented airborne chemicals called biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs), which are naturally produced by cannabis plants during growth and reproduction, may impact indoor and outdoor air quality.[1]

That 2019 article explained further: "Recent tests of four cannabis grow facilities in Nevada and California found that the plants naturally release compounds that, when they accumulate in the air, create smog."[1]

Cannabis plants emit pungent volatile organic compounds (VOCs), specifically terpenes, and when they combines with car exhaust then ozone is created in massive amounts.[2] In addition, pot growers actually spray with ozone to disinfect growing chambers[3] All this ozone is very harmful:

Ozone at ground level can make it difficult to breathe, cause shortness of breath and coughing, inflame airways, aggravate lung diseases (like asthma and chronic bronchitis), and make lungs more susceptible to infection. Washoe County has already exceeded ozone air-quality standards multiple times this year and in 2018.[1]

Colorado cannabis smog

Colorado was one of the first to legalize recreational cannabis, and as a result it has a worsening smog problem while the rest of the country has improving air quality.

"Whereas smog is decreasing across most major cities, Denver is one of the few cities to see increases in smog and lower overall air quality."[4]

On September 16, 2022, the EPA "reclassified Denver and Colorado’s northern Front Range as 'severe' violators of air quality standards, meaning more stringent regulations are coming for businesses and consumers are likely to pay higher gas prices."[5] "[T]he reclassification prohibits the sale of conventional gasoline within one year."[6]

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