Cannabis Industry Confronts Climate Chaos: From Blistering Heat to Devastating Floods, Operators Adapt to Extreme Weather

<a rel="nofollow" title="Cannabis" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis">Cannabis</a> Industry Faces Climate Chaos: Operators Adapt to Extreme Weather Challenges

Cannabis Industry Faces Climate Chaos: Operators Adapt to Extreme Weather Challenges

The Industry from Northern California to South Florida is grappling with the repercussions of climate change, as severe weather events continue to tax power grids and wreak havoc on operations. From historic flooding in parts of the Northeast to scorching temperatures in the Southern U.S. and California’s famed Emerald Triangle, cannabis operators are confronted with the urgent need to adapt to these extreme weather conditions to ensure the resilience of their businesses.

Cannabis Companies Respond to Rising Temperatures

Blistering temperatures in the southern U.S. and California’s renowned Emerald Triangle have compelled cannabis cultivators to implement emergency measures. Shading plants, reducing consumption during peak hours, and shifting staff to night shifts are among the strategies being employed to mitigate the impact of soaring temperatures. Mayflower Medicinals in Massachusetts even had to temporarily close its outlet after its air-conditioning system failed during excessive heat.

Weather-Related Issues in the Midwest and Northeast

Cannabis operators in the Midwest and Northeast regions have had to grapple with various weather-related challenges. Illinois witnessed 11 tornadoes touching down in the Chicago area, including one near Chicago O’Hare International Airport. In , floods devastated small towns, causing extensive damage to homes and businesses and posing a threat to the water supply. The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, , and Vermont, underscoring the persistent weather challenges.

Climate Change and Electricity Concerns

The convergence of severe weather events has amplified electricity across the country, with the North American Electric Reliability Corp. warning that two-thirds of North America is at of energy shortages during peak demand this summer. Notably, California, the Midwest, New England, and Texas are among the regions at elevated risk. As cannabis growers, both indoor and outdoor, are heavy consumers of electricity, they face unique challenges in adapting to power disruptions and increasing energy demand.

Cannabis Cultivators in Northern California Adapt to Rising Temperatures

Northern California, including the famed Emerald Triangle, faced excessive heat warnings recently, impacting cannabis cultivation. At Shepherds Meadow Farms in Mendocino County, where temperatures soared past 100 degrees, the cultivators took proactive measures. They covered three flowering greenhouses with shade cloth to diffuse sunlight and conserve water, utilizing a drip water system for all nine greenhouses. Other farmers in the region are also adopting precautionary measures to cope with the extreme temperatures and wildfire concerns.

Challenges of Indoor Cultivation in Arizona’s Heat

Wide swaths of Arizona experienced temperatures near 120 degrees, posing significant challenges for the cannabis industry. Demetri Downing, the founder of the Arizona chapter of the Marijuana Industry Trade Association, expressed concerns about the economic sustainability of indoor cultivation in such extreme heat. He suggests exploring outdoor spaces in more accommodating climates to alleviate pressure on indoor operations. Incentives and tax rebates for energy-efficient equipment and systems are being offered by Arizona Public Service (APS) to support businesses in conserving energy.

Extreme Weather in South Florida Spurs Innovative Measures

South Florida faced triple-digit temperatures and an ongoing heat , prompting cannabis operators to implement innovative strategies to manage their energy consumption. Curaleaf Holdings, a multistate cannabis operator with cultivation operations and retail stores in Florida, collaborates with “demand-response teams” during peak energy demand. By strategically reducing energy draw, they help relieve the pressure on the power grid. The company also adopts internal measures like dimming lights and using cloth shading to mitigate external heat.

Environmental Factors and Cannabis Industry Adaptation

Ben Gelt, an industry consultant, emphasizes that cannabis companies, like any other industry, need to factor in environmental considerations when making business decisions. This includes selecting facility locations, proximity to flood-prone areas, and to reliable water sources. As climate change continues to impact various regions, addressing these concerns becomes paramount for ensuring the long-term sustainability and resilience of the cannabis industry.

Conclusion

The cannabis industry’s journey to confront climate chaos and adapt to extreme weather challenges is ongoing. As weather events become more unpredictable and severe, cannabis operators are compelled to embrace climate-smart practices to secure their businesses’ future. By proactively adjusting cultivation methods and energy consumption, the industry aims to navigate the age of climate risk successfully.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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