Over the past couple of years, extreme weather events have rocked several parts of the world, resulting in flash floods, extreme heat, cold and more. Last year, power grids in Texas were shut down by extremely cold weather, forcing people to live without power in blistering cold weather for days. Such extreme weather events have continued to occur across the world, with California recently experiencing a heat wave that has caused power outages and disruptions.
California also happens to have one of the largest cannabis industries in the country, and the recent heat wave is presenting significant challenges to cannabis operators in the state. Cannabis plants are known to be energy intensive, especially when grown using indoor facilities. But with the recent heat wave, operators say they have experienced power outages and disruptions.
Given that cannabis plants require precise levels of sunlight and darkness to move from the vegetative to the flowering stage, regular disruptions to these cycles can have major consequences. Some climate experts predict that this September may be the hottest in California’s history, with temperatures expected to top the high 90s on the coastline and 110 degrees inland. Some cannabis operators have been forced to delay harvesting while others have staggered their work shifts in the wake of the power disruptions.
The California Department of Cannabis Control has also asked cannabis businesses to voluntarily shut off major power sources and rely on backup energy generators as excessive heat warnings have increased fears of major power disruptions. In downtown Los Angeles, Tradecraft Farms reduced its power consumption and brought a couple of generators online to supplement its power needs, a move that it expects will increase its monthly power costs past $30,000.
The San Diego-based cannabis grower has a greenhouse in a neighborhood filled with cannabis growers in the LA Art District. Some of Tradecraft Farm’s neighbors are licensed while others are not. CEO Barry Walker says that while his company is trying not to overtax the grid, as cannabis grows are known to do, most of the black market is unconcerned. He says that all the unlicensed cannabis cultivation in downtown Los Angeles is the reason transformers are overtaxed.
Jetty Extracts, another operator in the cannabis scene, was forced to temporarily stop production at its manufacturing hub in Oakland to preserve its temperature-sensitive extraction equipment. The company extracts resin from frozen cannabis, and as temperatures have soared, its freezer units have to work harder to keep the cannabis cold.
To address the possibility of power outages amid the heat wave, Jetty Extracts chief product officer Nate Ferguson says the company has plans for backup emergency generators. He notes that the length and intensity of the heat waves have had a major impact on the company’s capital expenditure planning.
Most cannabis operators can also expect to deal with rising energy costs as the heat wave intensifies, and companies such as Prime Harvest Inc. now have to put their best foot forward to prove their resilience in the face of such multipronged challenges facing the marijuana industry in California.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Prime Harvest Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PRIME
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