Wildfires Wreak Havoc on California Cannabis Farms

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Wildfires that raged through parts of northern California over the last few weeks have destroyed hundreds of marijuana farms and caused millions of dollars in damages, according to estimates by industry insiders.

Marijuana businesses can’t get federal protections enjoyed by other businesses, so growers whose farms were lost or damaged cannot take advantage of wildfire safety programs offered through the Department of Agriculture’s Farm Services Agency.

Insurance agencies have started catering to cannabis businesses, but its unclear how many marijuana farmers have natural disaster or wildfire insurance.

Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, told the International Business Times that crop losses might drive up marijuana prices, but under-supply is unlikely.

“California produces more cannabis than there is demand,” he said.

Some farmers affected by the fires also are worried that their dispensary clients will find new suppliers and stick with them going forward. Other farmers are reportedly planning to relocate their grows to parts of the state less prone to wildfires.