Are Illegal Cannabis Farms Bad for the Environment?

A large majority of cannabis farms in California and the U.S., in general, are still illegal.

There is no way to stop the consumption or demand for cannabis. 

That said:

As long as laws continue to make starting a legal cannabis farm difficult, some individuals who want to start a legal operation could be seduced by the convenience and greater profits of illegal operations.

This poses a huge problem in terms of regulation, but an equally enormous challenge when it comes to environmental sustainability.

Because illegal operations lack government regulation, it is probable for these farms to engage in harmful environmental practices. The use of pesticides threatens the natural habitat of hundreds of species, as does overfarming and excessive use of hydric resources. 

Sure, illegal farming will never cease to exist as long as illegal operations always find greater profitability in the trade. But the more control we can exercise over the legal industry, the better it will be for the environment and consumer.


Buy From Legal Cannabis Farms

More Than Environmental Damage

Is Growing Cannabis Legal?

Buy From Legal Cannabis Farms

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More Than Environmental Damage

Illegal cannabis farms deep in the mountains of California and other southern states near the preferable climate at the border tend to use incredibly dangerous chemicals on their plants. These chemicals are intended to achieve greater yields in a single season and greater profit margins. 

Little to no thought is given by these growers of the consequences for public health. Because illegal cannabis growth ops are not reviewed by the DEA, FDA, or other government parties,  these hazardous chemicals end up being consumed by the users of the product or unsuspecting wildlife.

In other words:

If you’re buying cannabis products from illegal farms, there is always a risk that you could be ingesting a potentially deadly substance or contributing to a business that threatens the environment. Another disgusting use of these chemicals is the spraying of the plant’s surface with them to threaten the health of investigators. Some of these chemicals can be so hazardous that by just manipulating the plant material at the growth sites, the people exposed to them could suffer serious physical consequences.

Legal Cannabis Farms

Even more serious consequences can come from using the chemicals that illegal growers have found success with. Some of these can be absorbed by the plants on the grow sites and contaminate nearby plants. 

But not all unpermitted grows belong to criminals. Trespass grows are differentiated from unpermitted grows by law enforcement who have identified other unpermitted, non-legal farming operations that don’t use hazardous chemicals or threaten law enforcement.

Local farmers are often invested in taking care of their patrimony. This includes growing cannabis with a purpose that can be consumed without any health risk.


Unpermitted growing still carries a risk to the environment as do any unregulated grow operations.

Is Growing Cannabis Legal?

Growing cannabis is now legal in many states across the country. Hemp farms, a kind of non-psychoactive cannabis plant that provides most of the CBD on the market, are legal in all 50 states as long as they contain less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC as are the products made from this type of plant.

That said:

Growing and smoking cannabis is not always bad for the environment. It just depends on how it is done. 

On that same note:

Some of the law enforcement agents looking into the environmental issues from illegal crops are not necessarily continuing the continuation of the ‘war on drugs’. Most of them are just looking out for mother nature and the potential consumers of an unregulated cannabis product.

Hemmfy articles and blogs are meant to entertain and educate. However, we are not medical professionals and do not intend to give medical advice through them.

The knowledge around CBD and other cannabis-derived products is growing and constantly changing, as does their legal status. Hence, we recommend checking with your local authorities and a licensed physician prior to consumption.

Simon Cartagena

Simon Cartagena is a full-time cannabis copywriter. This has led him to write for companies like Hemmfy.com where he acts as Senior Content Writer and other world-renowned cannabis publications. Simon has created Content Marketing strategies and articles that have helped company revenues increase by up to 1,000%. Simon’s goal is to help people understand cannabis in an industry where misinformation seems to be predominant.