As the American state of Washington gets ready to introduce a legal market for recreational-use marijuana, one of the surprise consequences could be better pork on people’s plates. One marijuana grower experimenting with ways to dispose of what’s left over once the sellable marijuana buds have been removed from the plants. Susannah Gross will provide the excess roots, stems and leaves as pig-feed, to see if pigs will get ‘the munchies’, the desire to eat more when under the effect of cannabis.
And the initial results are promising: four pigs fed on the weed waste in the last four months before heading for the abattoir were 20-30 lbs (9-13 kilos) heavier than six other pigs given their usual food when sent to the slaughterhouse.
“They were eating more, as you can imagine,” says Gross, who owns a five-acre farm north of Seattle.
The people of Washington voted in November to legalise recreational marijuana use in the state. The federal US government still considers cannabis as an illegal narcotic, and the Obama administration has yet to clarify what the consequences will be, if any, for people taking advantage of the newly passed state legislation.