California wildfires have burned over 220,000 acres, and they’re responsible for at least 40 deaths. Cannabis farms have been hit especially hard, with estimates ranging from 3,000-9,000 farms damaged by the blaze.
Like most other kinds of farms, cannabis farms are often family owned. They depend on crop harvests to get from season to season. Far from a “green rush,” it’s a slow labor of love for people who appreciate hard work more than money, and most operate under small profit margins. Unlike many other family farms, however, a cannabis farm is almost impossible to insure.
Timing compounds the problem. Outdoor California cannabis farms tend to harvest in the second half of October. This means that entire crops have been destroyed. And since the federal government’s stance makes mainstream businesses wary to work with state-legal cannabis companies, these farms have almost no recourse to recover their losses.
It’s a dire time for the people who have been the backbone of American cannabis for 20 years. Those who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to provide medicine to patients in need when no one else would, those same people who fought hard for regulations so that they could reach more people, are faced with the loss of a family business they spent their lives building.
How you can help
But we are a community, and help is already mobilizing. Even as farms remain ready to evacuate, avenues are being established to help support those most severely impacted.
These farms have given us, as recreational and medicinal cannabis consumers, so much over the past two decades. It’s time for us to give back to them. Greenstate has put together a list of community funds, GoFundMe pages, and collection drives dedicated to helping cannabis farmers recover from this devastating loss. The Splimm Team encourages you to give if you can.
Update: Two more links for ya!