Northbay cannabis farms devastated by fires

(Above photo from Erich Pearson, SPARC)
Wildfires ripping through Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino County have destroyed at least seven cannabis farms, according to reports. Grower industry insiders say that numbers will likely go much higher, and even if farms aren’t decimated, toxic smoke and ash may require farmers to destroy crops.

It’s been a rough year throughout the North Coast cannabis community as legalization led to plummeting flower prices for growers, onerous and costly permitting and ongoing confusion about the path to legal growing.

With harvest in full swing, fires couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Stories are still developing, but here is what we know…

– There are still no solid numbers for the number of farms lost, but according to Leafly, there are between 3,000 to 7,000 marijuana farms in Sonoma County. In Mendocino it’s estimated that there are 7,000 to 10,000 farms. So far there are no solid estimates on how many farms are destroyed or how many crops have been damaged, but Hezekiah Allen told reporters, “If you’re just talking piles of ashes, I think we may be looking at 30 or 40 farms” destroyed, Allen said. “But the broader regional impact will have thousands of farms seeing reduced values, with some having to destroy their crop. Any airborne contamination is going to stick to those buds. And there’s a lot of toxins in that smoke.”

Marijuana farmers are not eligible for crop insurance, emergency relief funds or most loans. Here’s how to help.

– MendoFire: CalGrowers Wildlife Relief Fund has been established to assist growers in need and has so far received more than $7,000 in donations.

Farmers Helping Farmers Gofundme. 

Sonoma Cannabis Company Gofundme

Mendo/Gen Redwood Complex Fund

– SPARC CEO Erich Pearson was at the heart of the Sonoma Valley firestorm on Monday morning, losing much of his Glen Ellen cannabis farm.

– CannaCraft has donated $50,000 of product to local dispensaries for those displaced. Reps think it will last 3-4 weeks. The Santa Rosa business office has donated 12,000 square feet of space to the Red Cross’ Northern California command center.

– TSO Sonoma along with Valhalla, Kiskanu, Sava and Kikoko will hold a benefit “Elevated Happy Hour” in Healdsburg on Oct. 20 from 5:30-7:30pm. DM@tso.sonoma on Instagram for details.

– Sonoma Cannabis Co.’s Sam Edwards posted this instagram picture of his home.

-““The October 2017 firestorm is having an extremely severe impact on our communities,” Allen said. “It is the worst year on record, and the worst year I can remember, in terms of farms lost. We have been able to confirm seven farms lost, but we expect the number to be much higher as more information comes in,” said Allen to the LA Times.

  • Ron Supwood


    • Bob Gordon

      You should have burned Ron; your reply to will get you to hell so be prepared douchebag

    • Peter Hockman

      Oh, Ron. You were born a douche and will dry, flake and peel like s scab when your ripped from here, useless idiot.

    • Hello All, Hollywood and big pharma have created an epidemic of drug addiction, the drug industry kills lives. Smoking weed should be illegal anyways these drug cartels should have been arrested long before this fire burned their drugs.

  • Robert Anderson

    With all that is ongoing, you report on lost pot crops? Amazing!

    • Mitch Clogg

      Marijuana is the highest-yielding cash crop in California, Bob-o.

    • Louise

      Totally agree with Don. The PD does an article on growing dope during this catastrophe?

  • name

    It is hard to be sympathetic to these people when there is medical study that said children who smoke cannabis before the age of 15 will have a permanently reduce brain size. This cannabis for children especially the second hand smoke that they cannot protect themselves from.

    Hope these will be a lesson to some of them and stay away from planting cannabis.

    • reporting you to calfire

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~everybody who reads this post please report the guy who wrote the comment above this quoted as

      “name on October 13, 2017 at 9:12 pm
      It is hard to be sympathetic to these people when there is medical study that said children who smoke cannabis before the age of 15 will have a permanently reduce brain size. This cannabis for children especially the second hand smoke that they cannot protect themselves from.

      Hope these will be a lesson to some of them and stay away from planting cannabis.”

      to the admin and ask that their ip and all info be reported to CALFIRE for investigation into possibly having set some of these fires.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      to you whom wrote such words……

      how fucking dare you say shit like that. even if you hate cannabis how fucking stupid are you?

      “hope these will be a lesson?” i hope that you burn in fucking hell for eternity as satans personal bitch for saying that shit and rot in prison till you get there if you have had anything to do with these terrible events. theres one word for failures like you. twisted.

      • Noname

        Did you fry your brain from smoking pot. Why should we report them to calorie when there is nothing wrong with the comment.

        Maybe I should report you to calfire and FBI for making false report.

      • Joe Arpaio

        Is internet stupidity punishable by prison ? HEY BUBBA !!!!

    • Mtch Clogg

      From the carelessness of your writing, I’d guess that you were an under-15 victim.

    • Mitch Clogg

      From the carelessness of your writing, I’d guess that you were an under-15 victim.

    • Solan

      More profound is the effects of malnutrition and stupid education.ghana IQ averages at 56,Mexico 85,us99britan 101,Hopi 110.junkfood weakens.big brain case looks like zika.

    • Joe Trybyszewski

      I am sorry for all those who suffered loss. Posts like these anti-pot folks show their ignorance and lack of compassion. The fact of pots effect on developing young brains is not conclusive. If you want to rant about substances that HAVE been proven to cause damage to developing brains, go refer to the many National Institute of Health studies that have PROVEN how alcohol does cause damage. But you don’t see anyone posting rants against the wine industry that has also suffered great losses. That’s good. This is not the time.

      On my job, I have been facing folks who escaped death within minutes from this fire. People from all walks of life. We need, as a community, to have empathy for everyone. Instead of spending time posting vitriol, go out and volunteer to help in this crisis.

    • william

      I have been smoking since I was 15
      I would be happy to go one on one with you in any area or field of interest.
      Your comment shows whose brain is stunted

      Your comment is so stupid. Cannabis is a drug, and like other drugs has enormous beneficial properties, and needs to be restricted and managed. It should be kept out of the hands of children, of course!!!!
      Do you drink alcohol? Thats bad for kids, too. Turn on the whole brain and see the bigger picture.

  • Janis

    Terrible tragedy from all involved , the lives lost iis a terrible tragedy, and so many people lost he’s and everything they owned and will be displaced maybe forever. But you can’t differentiate between wineries and canbabis farms. Both alcohol and canbabis can do harm when used irresponsible. But as a chronic pain patient with no other options that help, the cannabis has saved my life and I am grateful for the hard work these farmers do to help oatients like me have legal access. There are numerous medical studies on how much cannabis helps many different diseases.. I pray for your swift recovery. Please ignore the troll comments on this article. They are clearly misinformed and one day, when they are in chronic pain, will find themselves eating their words when it dawns on them they can’t get opiates anymore!

  • Janis

    Stupid autocorrect

  • LEO

    Fuck the dope industry. The towers don’t give. Shit about medical purposes. It’s all about the cash. Stupid fucking article.

    • william

      You need to lift the blinders. Medical application is a proven fact and quite a bit of the harvest goes to that.
      Proven fact. I can show you the invoices!!!

  • LEO

    The GROWERS don’t give a shit about anything but the money.

    • Dan

      You should probably move to a state that has harsh marijuana laws bud. You’re going to have a hard time with legalization. You’re ignorant with your poor choice of words and obviously uneducated on the subject. Get a life.

  • william

    Right on Dan!

  • Donna

    Of all the tragedy this is what you find to write about? I live in Southern California in an area being taken over by pot growers. It is disgusting, and against the law in Riverside County. The stench of pot is so thick it is nauseating. I hope every pot farm burns down and that the DEA shows up and hauls off ever one of these rodents in our area. They care only for money and have no regard for the neighbors that must suffer from the stench and the traffic of the low life’s that they bring with them. Good riddance to any neighborhood.

    • Alicia

      Oh Donna….I should just kick your ass real quick for your stupid ass comment!

    • LEO

      Great post. Completely agree.

  • Louise

    Can’t believe the PD sent reporters to do an article on the dope industry during this catastrophe. PD always a cheerleader even at this time. Amazing!

  • Gee, that’s too bad. All those high school kids and stoner adults with medical cards will have to pay more to get high.

  • Joebob

    You guys are so dumb its legal to a point but Trump says it’s not if it’s so legal go try to finance a property and say you grow weed wont get a loan

  • Jerome

    Great news. Saved the DEA from having to burn the crop.

  • Sad4u

    Wow! In a time of need like this, who needs these hateful comments. I hope and pray that you weed haters didn’t lose you house….

  • Sad

    Wow! In a time of need like this, who needs these hateful comments. I hope and pray that you weed haters didn’t lose you house….

  • Bodhisattva

    This is sad news, but the important thing is that no farmers lives were lost in these fires.
    I know a few long time outdoor growers up in Humboldt, Trinity and Shasta counties, they did not lose any of their crop this year due to fires, but 2 of them told me that this may be the last year that they grow cannabis.
    It doesn’t have anything to do with the Cannabis Commercialization and Taxation Act (CCATA) why they want to quit.
    It has to do with the facts that everybody and their mother has started to grow on their own property now since it was legalized for healthcare back in 1996.
    There are too many people flooding the market with mediocre cannabis and that has led to major gluts every year and price drops that started 5 years ago. It’s about supply and demand. These people that I know told me that they are still sitting on last years crop, they can’t find any buyers, not even out-of-state brokers want their organic mid-grade pot.
    Now, they are about to harvest this years crop, but can’t afford the trimming costs of $250 per lb., so they have to run their own scissors this year, what a drag, especially when they could be doing all that work for nothing again this year.
    Fires are natural occurrences that happen, but what happened with the outdoor cannabis growing industry is a result of over production and market fluctuations.
    We all have to look at this from the good side, and that is that now the outdoor cannabis growing bubble has burst, and there may be less outdoor pot flooding the market next year.
    That will (hopefully) reduce or eliminate the gluts, and (hopefully) the market will correct itself.
    It is the small batch indoor craft growers that might favor well in the new economy. Right now, top shelf indoor OGK or Durban is worth four times as much as outdoor grown on the wholesale market in CA, and if there is no flood next year, some of these indoor growers actually might be able to serve the needs of a growing healthcare and personal use market, and make a decent living while they are at it.