Marijuana Grow-lights Cause Problems for Ham-radio operators

The marijuana industry and Uncle Sam haven't been on the same page for 80 years, but these days, in a unique bit of weirdness, it's not the U.S. Department of Justice that could create a problem for pot growers: It's the Federal Communications Commission.
The FCC regulates the country's electronic communications, which is relevant because it turns out that, bizarrely, light ballasts used in the growing of cannabis emit radio-frequency interference that screws up amateur-radio transmissions being sent by local ham operators, a licensed, legally protected practice.

In a March 12 letter to the commission, the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio, complained that interference from grow lights was greatest in the medium- and high-frequency bands between 1.8 and 30 megahertz, and that it comes in no small amount.

"The level of conducted emissions from this [Lumatek LK1000 grow light] is so high that, as a practical matter, one RF ballast operated in a residential environment would create preclusive interference to Amateur radio HF communications throughout entire neighborhoods," wrote general counsel Christopher Imlay to acting chief of the FCC Spectrum Enforcement Division John Poutasse in the hopes the agency would halt sales.

Read the full Colorado Springs Independent article