California Wildfires And What It Could Mean For The Cannabis Industry

California wildfires grow larger than Boston and NYC combined. Cannabis farmers see yet another obstacle before recreational sales begin.

It has become common for California to see wildfires engulf the state. With the drastic change in climate, it is no wonder that it is the new norm. Currently, firefighters are struggling to contain the biggest of six blazes burning in southern California, with the Thomas Fire slipping from 15% containment to 10% Sunday.

Covering 230,000 acres, the Thomas Fire is now the fifth largest blaze in modern California history. The California cannabis community is feeling the heat, as the fire threatens the entire industry for the upcoming year. In addition, it is less than a month until new recreational regulations take effect. With post-harvest sales in influx, fear of the uncontrolled blazes hangs heavy.

Caifornia wildfires have been the worse in history. Cannabis market taking a huge hit.
In this photo provided by the Ventura County Fire Department, firefighters work to put out a blaze burning homes early Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Ventura, California. Authorities said the blaze broke out Monday. It grew wildly in the hours that followed, consuming vegetation that hasn’t burned in decades.

via SF Gate

There is also much concern for the scorched farms and smoke-damaged product. Even more, the community itself sees losses for urban areas, homes, business and entire neighborhoods.

“This year has been some of the highest highs and lowest lows, where we’ve made so much progress toward a legal, regulated, normal future,” Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, told Reuters. “But at the same time, we’ve had these catastrophic fires.”

On the plus side, the majority of fires happening are in Ventura County where marijuana cultivation is banned. So, it does give some hope that the loss won’t be too catastrophic.

Fear That The California Wildfires Will Cause Product Loss

Wildfies in California ruin crops
On the left: Subcool’s plants before the fire. On the right: Subcool’s land after the fire.

via High Times

As the fires continue, residential grow areas are up for much concern. In October, fires ripped through a number of Northern California cannabis companies causing massive destruction for farmers. The community had over 34 barns burned down and three manufacturers lose everything. Companies from Southern California responded with relief and support. Now, that effort is now being reciprocated.

At this weekends past Emerald Cup, the company decided that a portion of the donations would directly go to farmers who have lost their harvests from the October blazes.

“These are fires burning in a more urban-type development, and that smoke is going to contain potential contaminants that are not typically in wildfire smoke,” Allen told Reuters.

The Community Is Responding 

Cannabis community faces fear in light of California wildfires
U.S. forest fire crews fight fire with fire as they set off huge backfires to cut off the northern flank of the Thomas fire near Rose Valley recreation area in Los Padres National Forest in California, Dec. 9, 2017.

via ABC News

Firefighters from Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington state are helping to fight the fires. Additionally, the Nevada Department of Corrections and Nevada Division of Forestry have sent six trained crews to help.In the meantime, canna-businesses have already begun doing their part to help direct evacuees to resources and ease the pain as much as possible. Furthermore, the community has banded together from the North and the South of California to help maintain the future of cannabis in 2018.