Power Utility Blames Cannabis Companies For Blackouts

The cannabis industry is such an emerging powerhouse in the economy, companies are starting to putting a strain on power resources - in Oregon at least.

Oregon Live reports that Pacific Power has blamed two grow-operations for a blackout affecting some 200 customers. And it's just the latest incident in a growing trend of power problems.

That was one of seven outages from grows that's hit Pacific Power since July.

In fact, Portland General Electric estimates at least some of its incidents are related to grow-operations.

Steve Corson, spokesman for PGE, said it estimates that about 10 percent of the 400 transformers it has to replace a year are overheated by people growing marijuana.

And with good reason: growing marijuana can use a significant amount of electricity.

Even small sites can be power hogs. A four-plant operation with standard lighting is similar to hooking up 29 refrigerators to the grid around the clock, Gauntt said.

A spokesman for the utility couldn't resist injecting some humor into the situation. "We want to nip this in the bud," he said.

Banner Image by Flickr User Patrick Finnegan

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The late-John Wayne's 2,000 acre California ranch was listed for sale earlier this year with an asking price of $8 million. And while the site could be used for anything from planting a vineyard to raising cattle, the real estate agent promoting the site thinks it'd also be perfect for cannabis cultivation. Finding a buyer for Wayne's old ranch hasn't been easy as the property has been listed and unlisted in the past.