MENDOCINO COUNTY, Ca. — Deadly wildfires in Northern California are burning up marijuana farms in the so-called Emerald Triangle.
Blazes have destroyed a number of farms in Mendocino County right before legal recreational sales begin in California.
Cannabis business owners who lose their crops have little reprieve.
“Nobody right now has insurance,” said Nikki Lastreto, secretary of the Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association. “They might have insurance on their house, but not on their crop.”
Cannabis cultivators cannot insure their businesses because federal law prohibits marijuana, which means that financial institutions can’t go near it.
Derek Peterson, CEO of Terre Tech, which grows and sells marijuana in California, estimates that farmers typically invest upward of $5 million in their facilities and as much as $3 million on growing the crop itself.
“If their facilities burn down, a lot of these people won’t be able to get any economic relief for them from an insurance claim,” Peterson said. “There’s no mechanism for recovery to repay them for their loss. It’s a tremendous risk for these people.”
Josh Drayton, spokesman for the California