Wildfires Take Over the West Coast: Effects on the Cannabis Industry

From San Diego, California to Bellingham, Washington, nearly all of the western coast of the United States has been ravaged by wildfire, including the country’s marijuana “breadbasket.” [6]

The Details:

  • Near 100 fires are raging across all three west coast states: California, Oregon, and Washington[1]
  • The fires have consumed nearly 5 million acres of land with upwards of 30,000 firefighters being activated. [1]
  • Evacuation orders have been given to tens of thousands, with many more being given the warning to prepare.[2]
  • Near 40 lives have been lost with many others still missing [1]
  • Poor forest management and events from climate change seem to have exacerbated what could have been smaller fires. The Department of the Interior estimates that 90% of wildfires are caused by humans.[3][4]

Effects on the Cannabis Industry:

  • 20% of Oregon licensed cannabis businesses are evacuated.[5]
  • The largest wildfire in California history has destroyed the cannabis fertile counties in the Emerald Triangle (Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity).[5]
  • The crop that was not burned may be contaminated due to exposure to heat, ash, smoke, and fire-retardants.[5]
  • The percentage of crop loss can range from 20-40% with the rest at threat of being lost due to power outages at grows.[6]
  • Supply chains and potentially months of product ruined.[5]

The Questions:

  • What can be done to help the cannabis community and affected communities at-large?
  • What precautions can be implemented to help in the future?
  • How can the cannabis industry better prepare for wildfire season?

Fundraisers to help:

Benson Arbor Southern Oregon Fire Relief-100% of donations received will be distributed to Oregon families and individuals who have lost their homes to wildfires. (Less $2.9% go fund me service fee).

American Red Cross Western Fire Relief- Help people affected by the western wildfires.

[1] 'I could never have envisioned this': At least 35 dead as nearly 100 wildfires continue to rage across 12 Western states
[2] Oregon initially said 500,000 people had been evacuated because of wildfires. The numbers didn’t add up -- and the state backtracked.
[3] Is climate change worsening California fires, or is it poor forest management? Both experts say
[4] Facts + Statistics: Wildfires
[5] Wildfires Have Devastated the West Coast Cannabis Industry
[6] West Coast wildfires threaten hundreds of marijuana businesses, fueling concerns about a ‘new normal’
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