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Climate Change, Drought Likely Means Marijuana Grown In California Will Be More Potent

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A warming climate could boost the medicinal and psychoactive properties of plants including cannabis, that according to experts.

The Daily Climate reports, climate change could also play a huge role in the number of people growing marijuana on public lands, which would put increased strain on the ecosystem.

Lewis Ziska, a plant physiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service, said his research shows that marijuana grown outdoors will likely become stronger and require less water to thrive. He said a small portion of plant species have adapted to lower carbon dioxide levels, but most including marijuana, still feel deprived.

Retired USDA ethno-botanist James Duke said that when plants are stressed, like is often the case during a drought, they tend to exhibit more of their medicinal properties.

This all comes as the marijuana market becomes more and more crowded in Northern California and the state continues to deal with a drought. California's so-called Emerald Triangle [marijuana growing counties of Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity] has seen a doubling of pot production from 2009 to 2012, that according to a 2014 California Department of Fish and Wildlife study.

The massive amounts of water these growers are using has wildlife biologists concerned about what this will mean for fish and wildlife habitat, aquatic life and water quality in the area.

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