Wildfires Tear Across Western U.S. as Cannabis Growers Prepare and Respond: Week in Review
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Wildfires Tear Across Western U.S. as Cannabis Growers Prepare and Respond: Week in Review

As climatic trouble grips California, Oregon and Washington, we turn to the stories shared by cannabis growers across the West Coast.

September 12, 2020

It’s been a heartbreaking week (and then some) for the cannabis industry out West, where wildfires have raged like never before. It’s a widespread problem for so many families and businesses. The Cannabis Business Times team extends its thoughts and support to cannabis growers caught in the path.

We published a feature on the evacuation of Sweet Creek Farm in the hills above Santa Rosa earlier this month. Keala Peterson and her family shared tips for fire defense, including good firebreak practices and infrastructure burial.

With that in mind, here’s a roundup of wildfire stories we’re following and cannabis industry stakeholders whom we’re wishing well.

Sweet Creek Farm: Peterson and her family returned to their property, safely, and provided updates to followers on social media. “Now we are replanted two weeks after the burn and it all feels like a dream,” the family writes. “What a difference the safety net of community has made on our mental health and our fortitude to keep our heads high and never give up.” Read more  

east fork cultivars

East Fork Cultivars: This CBD-rich cannabis and hemp farm in southwestern Oregon was beset by encroaching fires as the week wore on, and still the road ahead is cautious. “The fires have surrounded Takilma and the Illinois Valley, appear to have crested Hope Mountain yesterday, but remarkably have not yet made it the to valley floor where most of the community is,” the team writes. “Quite miraculous given that just last night we thought everything might already be gone.” Read more (And read our cover story on East Fork Cultivars here.) 

Okanogan Gold: This Washington farm set up helpful fire lines to stave off the worst destruction in the central part of the state. Read more 

Viridia Farms: Located in the Portland, Ore., area, this outdoor cultivation site is in the thick of quickly moving fires in the northwest part of the state. “When you have a family of plumbers and a willingness to figure things out 🙌🏼 creating our own fire sprinkler lines through the property,” the team writes. “This will be able to keep things nice and saturated if we need to bounce outta here. Currently level 3 evacuation, but we’re holding it down until we can’t. Don’t worry we are safe and watching closely.” Read more 

Spring Water Ranch: Also located in Oregon, the Spring Water Ranch team has shared updates as the fires have grown. “When facing a problem sometimes it's best to find a solution and do everything you can to help yourself,” the team writes. “Do you evacuate and leave everything you have behind? Or do everything in your power to protect what you have? Easy decision for me. Flood the field with as much water until you cannot see and pray that tomorrow will be a better day.” Read more 

And here are a few cannabis industry news items, as usual, to close out the week.

  • Illinois: Unsuccessful cannabis dispensary license applicants have filed a federal lawsuit and claimed that political motivations placed 21 prospective businesses on the track toward this month’s lottery for 75 available licenses. Read more 
  • Maine: The state has awarded its first six adult-use cannabis business licenses, and sales are set to begin in October. Read more 
  • Nebraska: The state’s Supreme Court has shot down the medical cannabis legalization ballot measure that was previously expected on the November ballot. The rationale: The language contained what could be construed as two separate questions for voters. Read more 
  • Canada: Aurora Cannabis appointed its new CEO, Miguel Martin, previously the head of a hemp company that Aurora had acquired. Read more 
  • And in Ontario, the province’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission announced plans to increase the number of new dispensary approvals that can be issued each month. Read more