California Wildfires Torch Cannabis Farms at Height of Harvest Season

Just months before California is poised to legalize recreational marijuana, fatal wildfires tearing through three northern counties have scorched an untold number of cannabis farms. In addition to killing at least 31 people, the devastating wildfires consumed grapevines in California’s famous wine country and charred outdoor cannabis farms at the height of the harvest season. The area’s cannabis crop, typically grown outside in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties because of the normally ideal growing conditions, was hit hard.

Losses include not only the crop itself, but the infrastructure needed to comply with state regulations. The financial losses are impossible to calculate at this point since many growers have not been allowed back to visit their farms to assess the damage, but the estimate is in the tens of millions. Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, said Friday morning that at least 21 members had lost crops, and the number could…

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