When commercial cannabis growing facilities were approved by the Nevada State Legislature just a few years ago, there were no emissions data nor industry standards to guide environmental and public health regulations. Not here in Northern Nevada, not anywhere in the world.
Faced with this challenge, scientists from the Desert Research Institute and managers from the Washoe County Health District forged ahead into the “Wild West” of air quality research.
At this installment of Science Distilled, explore with our speakers how they’ve begun to study cannabis growing facilities in Nevada and California, despite the challenges, and consider the impacts of their preliminary findings: that the pungent chemicals emitted by cannabis plants may also be contributing to broader-scale air pollution in our region.
Vera Samburova is an Associate Research Professor at the Organic Analytical Laboratory at the Desert Research Institute (DRI). Dr. Samburova has worked at DRI since 2007, focusing on air quality research, including characterization of e-cigarette and cannabis emissions.
Mike Wolf is the Permitting and Enforcement Branch Chief for Washoe County Air Quality. He has over twenty years of experience in air quality and was tasked early on with quantifying emissions from cannabis cultivation in Washoe County.