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Cannabis Farms in California Within Wildfire Red Zones

Cannabis Farms in California Within Wildfire Red Zones

Dina Al-Shibeeb
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In the last month, wildfires have run rampant across California. It is estimated that over 200,000 acres of land has been set ablaze. This has reduced over 6,700 homes and businesses to ash. Cannabis farms within the area have not been immune to the carnage.

At this time, cannabis cultivators were just getting ready to harvest their crops. For them, the timing of the wildfires could not have been any worse. A cannabis grower located in Sonoma County is out over 1,600 pounds of bud. A grower near Santa Rosa has reported a loss of 900 plants. The estimated value is about $2 million.

Outside of Cannabis Farms the Damage has been Immense

The wildfires in the area have been devastating. 40 people have been killed since October 8th. 88 people are still missing. This is arguably the worst week of wildfires in history. The smoke created has created the worst air pollution ever in the area.

While this case has been particularly bad, wildfires affecting Northern California’s cannabis farms is nothing new.

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“We can confirm significant damage or loss of crop on 34 would-be-licensed, compliant-type grows.” Says Executive Director of the California Growers Association, Hezekiah Allen. “So that’s what we’re really focused on, is that growers that were on path to get licenses in a few months don’t miss that opportunity because of this event.”

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Due to legal status, currently, most cannabis farms do not have any insurance on their crops.

“ I think by this time next year we would be a much more widely insured crop. But right now, it’s not going to help much because the crops weren’t insured when the fire came.”

This has become an increasingly needed service. Due to climate change and population density, the impact of wildfires in California is only expected to increase in the future.

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