The devastating storms wreaking havoc on California have had a wide-ranging negative impact on cannabis businesses, disrupting operations and perhaps even supplies. In a last-ditch effort to limit the damage, some cannabis companies temporarily shut down business and fortified their facilities. Several operators have been unable to reach their operations due to road closures and hazardous conditions, while numerous power outages have halted production and exposed plants to contaminants, such as mold.
This is the most recent climate disaster to hit the state marijuana industry, following a heat wave in September and wildfire season several years earlier.
Workers cannot access cultivation facilities due to washed-out roads, which may result in lost sales and production delays, including those for packaging and flower trimming. If the current conditions persist, many cannabis retail store shelves could soon be empty.
At least 15 people have died and tens of thousands have been evacuated as a result of the storms, which began on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2023, and more than 34 million people are currently under a flood watch.
Glass House Brands, a cannabis company based in Santa Barbara, California, shut down both of its cultivation facilities in Carpentaria earlier last week so that employees could return home to their families and avoid getting stuck on the wrong side of a closed road. Graham Farrar, the company’s president, noted that the recent spate of cloudy weather has resulted in the lowest light levels he can recall in years.
However, Farr was concerned about mold and botrytis contaminating cannabis crops because the business is an “indoor sun-grown facility” and only uses photoperiod lights as additional lighting.
Along with the destructive floods, numerous prime cannabis-growing counties, including Mendocino, Monterey and Santa Cruz, also experienced widespread power outages. According to Poweroutage.us, nearly 225,000 homes and businesses were without power on Tuesday of last week.
Aiden Rafii, CEO of Euphoric Life, was concerned that if the power outage continued, they would incur losses of close to $140,000. They had more than 2,800 pounds of frozen biomass stored in the company’s freezers, which would be ruined if it thawed. Euphoric Life’s products are not insured due to the federal marijuana prohibition. Fortunately, power was restored by Wednesday, saving the company and others from further losses.
Mendocino County cannabis department director Kristin Nevedal said growers who are close to burn scars, which can become mudslides after heavy rains, left by severe wildfires from a few years ago have received warnings. However, many of the growers in the Emerald Triangle (Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino Counties) are ultimately self-sufficient and able to survive without electricity.
The majority of rural homesteaders, according to Nevedal, “either have alternative energy sources or have learned how to use very little power.” As of Tuesday morning of last week, it appeared that Napa and the nearby Lake County, where several cannabis growers have operations, had been spared from significant damages.
The challenges California cannabis enterprises are facing are just a fraction of the issues that the industry has to deal with, such as the hoops companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) have to navigate just so they can conduct needed studies on this substance.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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