US (CA): Many growers are uninsured and exposed to wildfires

The summer of 2020 has brought record-breaking heat waves and wildfires to California, with more than 3 million acres burned and smoke-filled air covering the majority of the state. As the fires burn, cannabis cultivators across the state are racing to finish and harvest their crops. But the fires can be disastrous for this process, in some cases even destroying plants that are spared by the flames.

While industry insiders report that these difficulties are unlikely to affect consumers, they could be a nightmare for the businesses that supply them.

Growers are being hurt worse than most other businesses hit by fire: Cannabis crops are more difficult to insure because growing the plant is still illegal under federal law.

Some cannabis businesses have already suffered because of the fires, such as Sweet Creek Farms in Sonoma County, which sustained building damage and lost the majority of its cannabis crop in August during the Walbridge Fire. The company estimates about $150,000 in losses from the crop, which wasn’t insured.


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