Incident Demonstrates Proactive Need for Greenhouse and Crop Insurance Solutions for the Cannabis Industry
Image courtesy of KSBW Action News 8
“‘The winds pushed it through the greenhouse structures very, very quickly,’ a Greenfield fire department spokesman told local TV outlet KSBW. A Monterey Herald report indicates all the greenhouses at the facility were destroyed. The facility apparently had no sprinkler system.” – Bill Weinberg, CannabisNow
A recent fire in California’s fertile Salinas Valley region destroyed several greenhouses and a large quantity of cannabis product in the small agricultural town of Greenfield, California. The incident occurred at the flagship growing facility of Loudpack Farms – purveyors of “some of California’s top-rated connoisseur cannabis products” that are consumed daily by thousands of customers.
What’s disturbing is that this premiere facility apparently had no sprinkler system in-place to address such emergencies, and as cultivators of cannabis crops and NOT distributors, Loudpack Farms was not required to have crop or property insurance – and may have had trouble finding coverage even if they had looked for it. Please read the coverage on this tragic event below as brought to you by CannabisNow, and watch the Twitter news feed coverage of the fire as well towards the bottom of this post.
“On July 23, the burgeoning cannabis cultivation industry in a small town on California’s Central Coast was rocked by a greenhouse fire that sent flames shooting high into the air and a thick plume of black smoke billowing to the sky.
The greenhouses belonged to Loudpack Farms — the flagship facility in Greenfield, California’s fast-growing cannabis sector and producer of some of California’s top-rated connoisseur cannabis products. It was hours before the town’s fire department was able to bring it completely under control. The fire departments from the nearby towns of Soledad and King City were also mobilized to the scene.
The blaze apparently started outside one of several greenhouses at the site and rapidly spread, ultimately consuming or damaging at least a dozen.
Town authorities say the fire is under investigation. KSBW, Monterey Herald and other media reported that the fire broke out at 4:20 p.m., without commenting on the possible significance of this time.
There are no requirements for cultivators to obtain insurance under the new proposed permanent cannabis regulations from the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the state department which oversees cannabis cultivation. Only cannabis distribution license-holders must obtain insurance, and the state is working to build avenues for those companies to get quality insurance policies. It’s unclear if Loudpack Farms had any crop insurance, though it is unlikely they did, given the many barriers cannabis companies face toward getting good insurance.
More than 300 people work at Loudpack Farms, which earlier this year became Greenfield’s largest employer. All employees on site at the time of the blaze were evacuated, and no injuries were reported, according to KSBW.”
You can read the complete coverage on the greenhouse and crop fire here. For some striking visuals, watch the Twitter news footage from California’s KSBW here.
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