This article was originally published on Goldleaf, and appears here with permission.
The West Coast is in flames. An assortment of wildfires blazing out of control are leaving unprecedented devastation across large swaths of California, Oregon, and Washington. At least 35 deaths have been reported and hundreds of thousands of individuals have had to evacuate their homes and businesses, upending countless lives in what has already been an incredibly turbulent year.
The West Wildfires and Cannabis Crops
Cannabis farms and businesses have not been spared from the destruction brought on by the wildfires. In California, several cannabis farms have already burned down. Quite a bit more are in danger of a similar fate not just in the Golden State, but also in Oregon and Washington, and mandatory evacuations have been ordered for the heartland of cannabis country: California’s Emerald Triangle region and southern Oregon.
For some farmers, Mother Nature has nullified any choice in the matter regarding the fate of their cannabis. However, for others who have so far escaped the worst of the destruction, a difficult choice remains: destroy their cannabis or attempt to salvage it? Proximity to the wildfires will play a major role in dictating which farmers will have to scrap their crops and which farmers will still be able to produce safe cannabis.
Between the wildfires themselves and the methods used to combat them, potential contaminants could potentially work their way into West Coast cannabis crops. Ash, pesticides, fire retardants, and soot all may make some cannabis unfit to consume.