NEWS BRIEF

SpeakEasy’s BC cannabis crop ‘relatively unscathed’ by heat, fires

British Columbia cannabis cultivator SpeakEasy Cannabis Club said its 2021 outdoor crop survived this year’s heatwave and wildfires “relatively unscathed,” with help from a hard-working irrigation system, fire preparation measures and some luck.

In a Wednesday news release, SpeakEasy founder Marc Green described the summer’s unusual weather events as “a wild ride” but said he expects “a bumper crop” as harvest time approaches.

The Rock Creek, British Columbia-based company was able to beat the summer heatwave by running its irrigation system “24 hours per day, 7 days per week for two straight months without missing a beat,” according to the release.

Although water restrictions for a local river “eventually lead to restrictions for farm crops,” SpeakEasy’s farm draws its water from an aquifer.

As for wildfires, SpeakEasy said it was “fortunate not to have any fires dangerously close to us,” although they remained “a constant threat.”

To help mitigate that threat, the company assembled firefighting equipment such as water tanks and pumps and trained a crew to prepare for any possible fire.

“Upgrades were made to each (water) source in order to have fast and easy access to water to fill tanks in the event they were called upon to fight fires,” according to the release.

“Back-up generators to run the pumps in the event of power outages were at the ready to ensure we would always have access to water needed for the crop and to fill tanks.”

The company’s buildings are made of steel, with fire breaks cut into the surrounding forest.

SpeakEasy said its outdoor cannabis field covers 60 acres, and the company also cultivates marijuana indoors.

Drought and wildfires posed a major risk to cannabis cultivators this year in western parts of Canada and the United States.

In August, Aurora Cannabis evacuated its outdoor farm in B.C. because of wildfire.

Even cultivators who weren’t directly affected by fire have faced challenges from smoke.

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