As more than a dozen wildfires continue to burn across California, cannabis cultivators affected by the blaze face challenges ranging from the health and safety of their employees to the potential destruction of their facilities and crops. Consumer safety and lab testing will also become significant concerns as cannabis grown in affected areas hits the market.
Smoke can stress or even kill the plants—especially those in outdoor or greenhouse operations—and the residue left behind can pose problems for lab testing and consumer health.
The fires have the potential to contaminate the cannabis with toxic chemicals. Pressure-treated wood, for example, contains chemicals like chromium and arsenic, which can settle on cannabis crops in the soot and ash from fires.
Fire retardant can also pose threats to cannabis crops and their water sources, said Lydia Abernethy, director of cultivation science for Steep Hill Labs, which has a California office in Berkeley. “If your product has been exposed to [a fire retardant], you should not consume it or release it into the cannabis market. If Phos-Chek or other fire retardants were dropped on or near your property, it’s important to monitor your waterways to make sure there’s no persistent problem with chemicals in your water.”
See the original article at Cannabis Business Times