Northern California Cultivators Plant Seeds for Recovery After Wildfires

These regions are well-known for cannabis cultivation farms, and many were destroyed or diminished in these wildfires.

Families are still trying to put the fragile pieces back together and bring normality back to their own lives. The impacts of the California wildfires on cannabis producers has gone beyond the damage to plants and loss of earnings — for a few, it’s led to the loss of life, also.

Between Oct. 8 and Oct. 31, 2017, 250 wildfires burned across California. During the fires, over 245,000 acres of land were burnt and 8,900 buildings destroyed. The damage toll of these fires is estimated at $9.4 billion.

Once the ashes and smoke settled, communities came together to encourage those were affected by the devastation of fires. The Redwood Credit Union set up a fire relief fund for the four Northern California counties and, to date, $32 million has been increased from people around the world. The funds were distributed to two dozen nonprofit groups. The outreach focused on assistance and recovery for the affected people, which included housing support, consulting and wellness services. A few of the nonprofits supported by the North Bay’s Fire Relief funds are St. Vincent De Paul Santa Rosa, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County, Jewish Community Free Clinic, and Santa Rosa Community Health Center.

Anticipating the Jan. 1, 2018, legalization of cannabis after the passage of Proposition 64, many longtime cultivators left their longtime cannabis businesses as they waited for licensing, permits, and regulations to be ironed out. New cultivators are making a change to the once-artisanal landscape, with automated large-scale farms.

The community in these burn areas continues the healing process, but it has a ways to go before returning to normal. With counselling and business support, the Northern California cultivation communities expect to recover and take part in future harvests.

While the North Bay Fire Relief Fund is closed, those interested in supplying aid can still help  by encouraging the American Red Cross California Wildfire Relief Program. During the October wildfires, the Red Cross provided mental health services to over 5,500 people.

Published at Tue, 17 Jul 2018 22:15:23 +0000

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