Cannabis Growers Face Challenges with Water Access
May 21st, 2014
Policy, Top News
Cannabis growers in Colorado and Washington state could face an uphill battle after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation indicated that it wouldn’t allow any federally controlled water to be used on cannabis crops. Under federal law, cannabis remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance alongside drugs like heroin or cocaine, which means that federal assets wouldn’t be allowed to support its growth.
In Washington state, the federal agency controls approximately two-thirds of the states irrigated land, which means that the move could be a devastating blow. Farmers had been hoping to cash on the cannabis boom with the crop generating about 500 times more value than the most valuable alternative to be grown on the land – a value that could mean they will find a way to work around the problem.
In Colorado, state laws only permit indoor growing operations, which means that outdoor water use is already out of the question. Hydroponics companies have taken advantage of these dynamics by creating highly efficient growing technologies that utilize minimum light and water to produce the highest quality crops, although they are not as scalable as their farmland-grown alternatives.
Federal regulators have been fairly supportive of the cannabis movement, but the move to cut off federal water access also signals there may be limits. The Obama Administration has instructed the Department of Justice to focus its prosecutions on states where the drug is illegal, while the administration also supported moves to relax banking regulations and allow cannabis companies to access the services.
Many cannabis growers had been expecting such a reaction by the federal water agency, although the agency’s support could have been a key turning point. Growers and other industry participants are now hoping that the federal government takes action to create a comprehensive law governing the drug.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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