Climate change is coming for cannabis

From British Columbia to California, cannabis cultivators are battling droughts, wildfires and extreme heat this summer.

From bad to worse

California experienced one of its worst fire seasons in 2020, writes MJ Biz Daily.The 2021 fire season forecast looks just as dire, and it started earlier. 

Cultivators in the western US are doing everything possible to try to mitigate the risks, such as trimming overgrowth back a good distance from facilities, coordinating access with local and volunteer fire departments, installing backup water sources and generators, and installing sprinklers. And to protect employees and prevent crop and property damage from the ash and smoke of far-off fires, they’re sealing off chimneys and equipping employees with protective equipment like masks.

Evaporation nation

In British Columbia, growers have had to change up their routines in a record-breaking heat wave that’s making it difficult to water plants, writes BNN Bloomberg. Rather than the usual morning plant watering time, for example, Tyler Rumi of Good Buds on Salt Spring Island said his team is now getting up at 2 a.m. to beat the heat before it evaporates their irrigation efforts. 

“It just gets too hot out there, so we go out and we do our weeding and different activities early in the morning before the peak heat arrives and then we go down to the ocean or down to the lake to enjoy the afternoon,” he said.

(We connected with Tyler Rumi and GOOD BUDS earlier this year. Check it out.)

Legacy growers hit hard by Lava

Some of the worst-hit farms have been unregulated cultivators in areas like California’s Siskiyou County, writes the Sacramento Bee. Some are even accusing authorities of allowing the Lava fire to blast through their farms rather than helping them fight the massive fire. The authorities said they tried, but were prevented from helping by hostile cultivators.

“Cal Fire didn’t feel safe,” the sheriff said, “and they pulled out and went to a safe location and communicated with law enforcement.”

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