Wildfires Delaying Western Cannabis Harvest
By Rolling Up
October is a popular month for cannabis crops to be harvested, usually coined as “Croptober”, but smokes have limited the ability for a proper harvest. The recent wildfires have taken over Washington, Oregon, and California. More than 5 million acres have been lost due to the fires. Locations were forced to evacuate under extreme circumstances. Cannabis growers are torn between fighting a devastating crisis, providing safe working conditions for their employees, and are dealing with the stress of salvaging their crops.
Concerns of smoke contaminating crops have been in question. Crops that are grown indoors in municipal buildings are prone to be more harmful than forest fires for the crops. Pressure treated woods that are used in buildings contain chemicals such as chromium and arsenic, which can leak onto cannabis crops when the soot comes down. In addition, products that have been sprayed with fire retardant should not be released into the market for consumer use.
One of the other issues is how products that are lab tested will show toxins that are present in cannabis crops after fires. Growers are warned to not use chemical products that strip away smoke contaminates to wash off the smoke from the cannabis crops, which can lead to lab test failures and complications.
All of this underscores the reality of how climate change is impacting cannabis farming and agriculture as a whole. After the wildfires, the sun blocked due to the heaviness of the smoke, leaving plants behind in their growing cycle. Delays in harvesting may increase the prices of crops in 2021. Cannabis growers predict that crops will be salvaged and turned into extracted products, but that is not a promise since it can be dangerous to extract or distribute for consumption.