Hurricane Ida didn’t spare the cannabis industry

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It’s being called the second-most destructive hurricane in US history after Katrina, killing more than 70 Americans and leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. And Hurricane Ida hasn’t spared eastern states’ burgeoning cannabis operations, many of which were only just getting started, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

Storefronts and cultivators hit hard

In New Orleans, one medical cannabis dispensary operator said he planned to re-open his doors after being closed for several days — even though they still don’t have power. Near Baton Rouge, employees at Ilera Holistic Healthcare dropped their usual responsibilities to sandbag three grow facilities in a desperate move to protect their supply. And even New York’s CBD industry was impacted, with one store owner saying he had to unclog a drain in his basement shop to protect his store from severe flooding.

Supply chain snags

Now that the dust has settled, others are concerned that supply chains have been disrupted as well.

“We’re seeing huge logistical issues with freight and transportation,” Liz Geiselman of Colorado’s 710 Spirits Extraction Products told MJ Biz. “We’re getting close to panic at this point.”

Growth grievances

Supply chain issues are also hurting companies trying to scale. Indiana-based HempRise, for example, has endured both COVID- and hurricane-related delays on equipment deliveries that prevent them from getting their $80 million CBD extraction facility up-and-running.

“We have to get this facility operational,” said HempRise VP Kyle Einhorn. “We can’t afford to say, ‘Hey, we can’t work for the next two weeks because we don’t have X, Y and Z to get things done.”’

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