This summer has seen absolutely horrific wildfires all over the western U.S. While the southeastern U.S. has been pummeled with water and wind, the west is slowly burning, with no end in sight. From Colorado west, north to south, there are multiple wildfires in each state, dozens in some like Idaho, Montana and Oregon.
Four of the biggest legal cannabis states, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California, have all been affected by these wildfires. So what does this mean for this year’s outdoor cannabis crop in those states? Well for indoor growers, luckily not much. Power outages are few and far between because most of these fires are happening in remote, densely forested and desolate areas. Outdoor growers however, don’t have the luxury of climate control.
CULTURE talked to Jeremy Moberg, CEO/founder of CannaSol and founder of Washington Growers Industry Association, about how the wildfires are impacting his and other growers farms in their wildfire stricken region in the Okanagan Forests in Washington State. “If conditions stay like this [smokey] for another week, full-term growers [meaning those who don’t use light-dep methods] will be severely impacted by this.” Moberg told CULTURE over the phone. “The yield, not the quality will be greatly affected,” he added.
Nearby in Washington’s Methow Valley, Lazy Bee Farms is also experiencing heavy smoke-covered skies. Lazy Bee Farms owner, Matthew Frigone, is noticing changes in his crops already, but they’re not what you’d expect. Crops which usually take eight weeks to flower are taking six. And the quality? Excellent. It seems, for now, the carbon from the fires, the falling ash, and maybe even the red spectrum lighting is creating ideal conditions for some outdoor cannabis growers in his region. Let that be one bright spot in an otherwise tragic situation.
The impact of these fires will be different for each grower, in each region. As the fires burn on, and the season comes to an end, the final effect of the catastrophic fires can be truly assessed. In the meantime everyone is holding their breath, and eternally grateful to the firefighters out there battling these flames, and helping keep us, and our crops, safe.