West Coast Wildfires a New Normal for Cannabis Industry
The wildfires on the West Coast have already destroyed a couple of cannabis farms in California, Oregon, and Washington state.
Wildfires, especially the ones in California, are happening almost on an annual basis. As such, cannabis farmers are becoming increasingly concerned about their businesses. Adapting business models to wildfires as the “new normal” certainly isn’t easy. Nevertheless, as the fires have already burned down a record number of acres — and seeing how the wildfire season still hasn’t reached its peak — cannabis farmers will have to adapt to the new way of life sooner rather than later.
As scientists claim, climate change is responsible for huge temperature changes, so cannabis crops could also be destroyed by extremely low temperatures as well.
More than 400 (over 20%) legal cannabis businesses in Oregon have already been evacuated due to fires. California’s cannabis businesses remain vigilant, whereas some cultivators in Washington have already lost 20–40% of their yield.
Cannabis farmers are yet to disclose the true nature of the damage. Also, albeit their farms may be intact, a large number of cultivators will lose their crops due to not passing the mandated state testing as a result of contamination from smoke, ash, and fire retardants.
Industry professionals agree that cannabis farmers have to get accustomed to extreme weather changes — both to wildfires and freezing temperatures — and start factoring in the dangers on an annual basis.
They have to do fire prevention, fire safety meetings, and fire evacuation drills. Everyone involved has to be prepared as fires are a great business liability, especially in the cannabis industry.
The true toll of the wildfires is yet to be determined — both on the financial and the business end. This will certainly impact the profit, but also the supply of cannabinoid products, such as CBD oils, chews, vapes, and others.