Much of California’s Cannabis Harvest in 2020 Survived the Wildfires
Even with the infernos raging throughout California, growers still managed to pull through with tax revenue to the state government.
Sam Rodriquez, an advisory member representing seven Northern California counties in the International Cannabis Farmers Association, highlights the 2020 harvest as an “early save.” His estimates claim that approximately 80% of the crops were saved. However, the statistic varies from county to count. Rodriquez oversees growers throughout Sonoma, Humboldt, Lake, Nevada, Santa Barbara, Mendocino, and Trinity counties.
“Many farmers accelerated their harvest,” he explained. The fires made it essential to bring crops in during the beginning of October.
The decision to bring the crops in early ensured $41 million in California tax collections during the fall in a period that ended Nov. 2. This is three times the sum the state collected two years ago during the same period.
During the worst of the fires, smoke encompassed the entire region. The air in some parts of the San Francisco Bay Area took on an eerie orange hue, with ash sprinkling and smoke surrounding the cannabis crops. Some growers decided to use more water to keep the plants clean.
“This was a significant concern about the crops being tainted with ashes and smoke,” he explained. “There was a lot of fear, but people reacted much faster.”
Without hesitation, Northern Cali’s growers reacted to the flames, utilizing precise science and upgraded protocols to ensure the crops were protected. They improved the plants’ nutrition, breeding, seeding, irrigation, and all-around care. These practices are likely to continue as growers continue delivering premium cannabis products.
Christian Sweeney of Sonoma Lab Works tried finding traces of heavy metals in the crops. Fortunately, few materialized in the plants.
“There was not enough to be a smoking gun (to the harvest),” Sweeney explained during the Business Journal’s virtual North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference. Even with this being the case, he recommends growers test their soil and remove the soot before next year’s growing season.