BB&K In the News Oct 24, 2017

Water to Grow Marijuana in California’s Desert

BB&K Managing Partner Eric Garner Interviewed by Water Deeply

Water to Grow Marijuana in California’s Desert

In an interview with Water Deeply, Best Best & Krieger LLP Managing Partner Eric Garner discussed the obstacles surrounding the use of groundwater for growing marijuana. California’s new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act can have an impact, he said in “Does California Have Enough Water for Marijuana Hot Spot in Desert?” published Oct. 23.
“Really, it just comes down to what’s the annual recharge in the basin, and what’s the demand,” he said. “I think it’s fine for there to be a net loss for the basin for a year or two – like during a drought – so long as it’s within the sustainable yield and the annual recharge covers it. What’s a problem is a long-term, chronic decline.”
Eric also noted the uncertainty around marijuana production in the State, which makes it hard to determine if the groundwater in the area — in this case, a remote desert town — will be reliable.
“It’s my understanding marijuana is a pretty water-intensive crop,” he said. “What if it becomes as ubiquitous as almonds, or something like that? I think we don’t yet know what the impacts may really be.”

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